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Ngoche, Bundi left out as veteran Obuya returns to national team

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Cricket Kenya (CK) selectors have omitted two top players in a 14-man squad for the forthcoming Africa/World T20 Qualifiers in Kampala, Uganda.

The exclusion of pace bowlers Nehemiah Ngoche and Emmanuel Bundi seems to have gotten people talking.

Veteran Swamibapa player Collins Obuya makes a return after bitter fallout last year alongside Nairobi Kongonis all-rounder Eugene Odhiambo who last donned the team kit in 2017. Kanbis batsman Pushpak Kerai continues to prove his stature in getting a place alongside youngster Jasyant Kundi.

Two slots

Captained by Shem Ngoche of Stray Lions Club and under Maurice Odumbe, the team is expected to fight it out for the two slots available for the Global Qualifiers come September in United Arab Emirates.

Skipper Ngoche believes the Ugandan assignment is critical and the team understands the stakes.

“We have done good brush ups but it is important that we can perform at optimum. There are five other good teams out there who know us so well thus we must be better to get qualification,” he told People Sport.

However some of the changes to the squad have elicited some debate and conflicting views from across the divide.

Former coach Thomas Odoyo has wondered why exciting bowler Bundi is out in the cold. “He has always performed when called upon so unless he is injured, I do not see why he is missing. His pace and length plus bouncy deliveries would have helped a great deal. The team overall is fairly balanced but I feel there is need for new blood in the team,” he said.

World Cup qualifier

Six teams are set to battle it out in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Final 2019 in Uganda, with two countries moving just one step away from Australia 2020. The top two nations will secure a place in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier later this year and be just one step away from the T20 World Cup.

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