News: Kenya to start national league….
They have been saying this for a while now, but one hopes that this is the real deal given that they have now given a date of November to start the proceedings.
What I like most about this league is the fact that they are going to limit themselves to 4 teams, and that most likely, they will split up their 16 or so contracted players amongst these followed by the locals making up the rest. This format is generally considered the better one, otherwise, 1 team having 7 national team players playing against another which has only 1 is neither good for player development, nor for the entertainment value of the game. This method ensures that the best players will play each other at least.
CK tries to address the issue of the 3 day matches as well, but I am not very convinced about that answer. Some sort of a match allowance needs to be given to the players who are not centrally contracted, and that will make them think about taking time off work or doing something else to incorporate the league within the schdule.
The alternative is to have 2 day cricket, with 100 over innings. Thats not that bad either, and is better than not have any multi day cricket. The final alternative is to have 4 day cricket, split over 2 weekends. I am not sure what the weekends in Kenya are, I am assuming that they take Sat and Sun off. Yet another alternative is to limit the domestic league to 50 over and t20 formats, while having the national squad participate in Zim domestic, like this year. If Kenya had thrashed every Zim domestic team, which many of us thought they would, it would not have been an option, but it looks like Zim domestic teams are not that weak in front of Kenya full squad. After all, what participated in the Zim domestic this year was more than the Kenyan A team.
What Kenya should also do is to incorporate good players from Uganda into the league. I am quite sure that the top 4-5 players from Uganda are better than many of the Kenyan players, and incorporating them will only raise the standard. In addition to that, the chances of getting funding from ACA is also higher for the league now that the neighbouring countries, and the region as a whole, is involved.
Btw…. a question is. There was no 3 day cricket before either. How was Kenya able to produce Tikolo, Odumbe, Odoyo, M Suji, Otieno, Shah all together? All these guys were ODI standard players, and were probably better than many Kiwi players. But the talent went mostly to waste because both the KCA and the ICC did not time their moves correctly and expose them to better cricket. I dont see anything like that now in the curent Kenyan team. Mishra, Ouma, Obanda, Odhiambho… are pretty much associate level good players, not even exceptional at that level.