Veteran cricketer and former Kenyan skipper Aasif Karim has called on the government to invest in sports to avoid the numerous cases of good talent going down the drain. Karim believes Kenya has lagged behind due to lack of a proper policy and support from the authorities that if not checked, it could get worse.
The 2006 World Cup star, who described his career as a blessing, was speaking during the launch of his book titled; Karims-A Sporting Dynasty in Nairobi’s Lavington yesterday, an event graced by some of Kenya’s greats including former marathoner Paul Tergat.
“It is important to have a stand alone Sports Ministry which will focus on developing talent and enriching careers. The current trend does not seem to be helping, thus the whole conversation taking a back seat,” he said.
“What we are witnessing at the moment with most organisations is chaotic because of interests that override sports. There has to be cohesion and understanding otherwise, we face a bleak future,” added Karim while emphasising the need to improve infrastructure and develop youth. “Twenty years ago, we had great players who shone for Kenya and tirelessly committed to the sport.
What the authorities failed to envision was that there had to be younger players rising up the ranks. This led to a void and so we are back to ground zero and Cricket Kenya is responsible for this mess,” he said.
Tergat—who is eyeing the top seat at the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK)—called on the Ministry of Sports to come up with a sports museum that will honour icons. “In many societies, sportsmen are treated like royalty. Our ambassadors need to feel wanted and appreciated by government,” said Tergat.