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David and Collins scoring the brotherly runs

For almost two decades, the Obuya family has represented Kenya in highlight cricket events. Three brothers have all given their time, sweat and passion to the game that has earned them a living and made them legends. Kennedy Otieno, 45, opens up about younger brother Collins Obuya, 36, on his career, life and more

How did you end up a cricketing family?

We were raised in Parklands and cricket was a familiar sport in the neighbourhood. Being the oldest, I was the one who got interested in the game first, then David and Collins followed suit.

Collins joined Aga Khan Sports Club as a junior in 1996. By that time, he was still schooling at Don Bosco High School. We honed our skills at Aga Khan Sports Club and that is where we also got leeway to feature abroad.

You led the way, how did your youngest brother Collins join the sport?

He learnt the ropes from the best at an early age. He was a keen learner and hence the Walji Family, who were then associated with the Aga Khan Community roped him in.

He would accompany my brother David and I to the neighbouring pitches and watch as we practiced. From then on, there was no looking back as he grew to be one of the finest players to ever represent his country.

How supportive were your parents in this endeavour?

Like most parents, they were concerned whether the sport will be of any good to us. At that time, many of our peers were dropping out of school and engaged in vices. But for us, cricket was keeping us out of trouble.

At the end of the day, the game was putting food on the table and coming from a large family of seven children, it was a welcome thing. Our parents were proud of us.

To what extent do you think cricket has inspired Collins?

Coming from a humble background cricket gave him a better future. Indeed, we educated ourselves in high school through cricket. That is why he is more committed to mentor future players.

What qualities do you admire most in him?

Collin Obuya swings a hit at a past event. Photo/Courtesy
Collin Obuya swings a hit at a past event. Photo/Courtesy

He is a cool guy. He does not speak much. He takes a lot from my dad who is an easy man. Collo as we call him, is known to be a voice of reason.

However, growing up, we had to push him a lot because we saw potential in him. All in all, he is a nice guy to be around with.

Who are some of the people he looked up to while building his niche?

He looked up to Kenyan legend Maurice Odumbe and Australian maestro Shane Warne because their styles of play were somewhat similar. But, he also looked up to me and David, being his elder brothers.

What are some of his greatest moments as a cricketer?

There is so much he has achieved in his career. In 2011 he captained Kenya at the prestigious One Day International (ODI) Level and T20 International level.

His highest score of 103 and his prominence was felt first off at the 2003 World Cup hosted in Africa where he was amongst the stars shining at the tournament; particularly with his 13 wickets haul as Kenya reached the semi-finals stage. He has played in the top tier County Cricket in England with Warwickshire earning reputable scores in 2000.

How is he off the pitch?

He hangs out mostly with his family; wife and two children. He likes to train alongside his 10-year-old son Troy, who he greatly mentors as an upcoming batsman.

Aside from that, he takes time to work as junior coach at our organisation, Obuya Academy, which is helping to build the next breed of cricket stars.

When all is said and done; where does Collins go from here?

Probably, coaching children at a more professional level. He still loves the sport and will do anything to be a part of it. At the moment though, he still wants to help his country qualify for the World Cup.

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