Barry Silah @obel_barry
Following Kenya’s failure to earn a return to the ICC Division Two World Cricket League status, the route to quality competition has become trickier.
Effective May 2019, Kenya will join the World Cricket Challenge, a longer route back to the top of cricket and with some interesting competition rules.
In the just-ended World Cricket League Division Three qualifiers, Kenya won only two matches in five, putting them in a tight spot as an Associate member.
Kenya, who had been relegated last year from the more prestigious Division Two following a poor showing in Namibia, needed a top two slot but fell short with previously unheralded sides Oman and USA taking the mantle while the East Africans were left to fight for the scraps.
The 2019-2021 ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League will be the inaugural edition of the new format which forms part of the qualification path to the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
The Cricket World Cup Challenge League will be split into two group; A and B, with the top team in each advancing to a play-off tournament, also taking place in 2022, which feeds into the 2022 Cricket World Cup qualifier tournament.
This Championship replaces the World Cricket League (WCL), which was used as the route to the Cricket World Cup. The new format sees 12 teams ranked from 21 to 32 in the WCL participate following the conclusion of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament slated for April 2019 in Namibia.
Newly-promoted Oman and USA will be joining Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Canada. The 12 teams will then be split into two pools, with each group playing in a six-team tournament on a yearly rotation beginning August 2019.
“It is more tedious and longer but the boys can pull it off. They will be meeting some teams which are at par or below them so it is a good opportunity to take us back to where we belong,” said former Kenyan international Jimmy Kamande.