In Summary
  • Kamande was referring to wrangles at Cricket Kenya last year that disrupted the game locally
  • He spent two years to assemble a team that represented Africa in last year’s Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand
  • Namibia will host the African qualifiers for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup
  • Kenya will fight it out with Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and hosts Namibia for a sole ticket reserved for the continent

Kenya Under-19 cricket team coach Jimmy Kamande has said players must make full use of the limited time available to prepare for 2020 Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

Speaking on Friday after meeting 22 young players who turned up for selection at Ruaraka Sports Club in Nairobi, Kamande said players who will make the Kenyan squad that will compete in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa World Cup qualifiers in Windhoek, Namibia, from March 17 to 25 must give their all to be ready in time for the qualifiers.

He said: “Time is not on our side. We have wasted December school holidays when we could have spent quality time with the boys. We now have to work with the little time left for us to pick our team for the qualifiers.”

Kamande was referring to wrangles at Cricket Kenya last year that disrupted the game locally.

Kamande said that he expects more youngsters to show up team selection during trials in Nairobi that will run from Monday to Friday.

He added: "I will conduct another team selection exercise in Nakuru over the weekend (from January 12 to 13) and move to Mombasa a week later (January 19 and 20)."

The Kenya Cricket Under 19 team head coach Jimmy Kamande gives instructions during the national team selection at the Ruaraka Sports Club, Nairobi on January 5, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |

The Kenya Cricket Under 19 team head coach Jimmy Kamande gives instructions during the national team selection at the Ruaraka Sports Club, Nairobi on January 5, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO |

Kamande said that he will pick a provisional squad of 25 players to give the young players enough match practice.

Namibia will host the African qualifiers for the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, and Kenya will fight it out with Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and hosts Namibia for a sole ticket reserved for the continent in next year’s Age-group World Cup to be played in South Africa.

Kamande decried lack of sufficient time to prepare the team. He spent two years to assemble a team that represented Africa in last year’s Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand but this year, he does not have the luxury of time.

At the same time, coach Kamande has said just one player from the team that took part in last year’s World Cup - Sukhdeep Singh - is eligible for these qualifiers.

Kamande said: "Last year, Sukhdeep batted in the middle order, and he will move to the top order this time round as he is the most experienced batsman among the group."