|World Cricket League Division 1: Netherlands, July 2010|
Kenya face player strike
Kenya's players have gone on strike over contractual issues, with the players refusing to travel until their demands are met. The strike has already led to the cancellation of Kenya's warm-up games in Manchester, and it now looks like threatening their participation in WCL Division One.
The main issues for the players are the new Cricket Kenya contracts which give CK the right to place a contracted player with any club of their choosing, whilst money and player selection is another issue.
Kennedy Obuya claimed that he wasn't selected due to him not playing in a top division club, whilst Dominic Wesonga, who also plays outside the top division, was selected. However, it appears that the top division rule only applies to contracted players, of which Wesonga isn't one.
The four player representatives are all former captains of the side; Steve Tikolo, Kennedy Obuya, Maurice Odumbe and Isaiah Odhiambo, none of whom were named in the squad for WCL1. Cricket Kenya is refusing to negotiate with those four, insisting that they have to negotiate directly with the players. One can hardly blame them considering that one of the four recently concluded a ban for match fixing.
In a statement to CricketEurope, an ICC spokesman confirmed that they are "in discussions with Cricket Kenya and has also written a letter to it requesting confirmation of its participation in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 in Amsterdam. The ICC is expecting a response shortly as Cricket Kenya has been asked to respond by 1200 (Dubai time) today (Tuesday)."
That deadline has passed as of the time of writing, and no further statement has come from the ICC. CricketEurope will keep you updated as and when we receive any information.
The ICC spokesman refused to comment on possible sanctions against Cricket Kenya should they fail to show up for the tournament, but it is being reported elsewhere that funding could be withdrawn, ironically meaning that those players demanding more money would have even less.
Given that in the European Championships four years ago Greece were relegated for refusing to play just one game, it isn't out of the question that Kenya could be relegated from WCL1 and possibly lose their ODI status. Whilst all will no doubt hope it doesn't come to that, if that is the catalyst needed for Kenya to sort out its domestic struggle, then that could well be a good thing.