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Odumbe promises to return Kenya to ‘Promised Land’

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Maurice Odumbe has no hard feelings. The ex-Kenyan international was dramatically left out of a T20 tournament in South Africa last year despite being the national team head coach before he was unceremoniously axed. However, having been reinstated last week, the past is behind him.

Odumbe’s troubles coincided with one of the toughest times for Kenyan cricket when the national team was demoted to Division Three but he is now promising a return to the big time, starting with next week’s Africa T20 qualifiers in Uganda.

“I am under no illusion as to the task ahead. I am an optimist but at the same time a realist. We have work to do and it is important that we have stability. The past distractions off-field might have affected the boys but we have had a candid chat about what we need to do,” said Odumbe.

Confidence and attitude

He added: “My priority is obviously qualifying for the global event in the UAE from September but ultimately confidence and attitude will be the biggest factor.”

“My job, apart from coaching, is having every member understand their roles in the team. If we think and play as a unit, then we will certainly go far. The fact that other external interruptions are a thing of the past means focus must only be on cricket,” he said. The team leaves for Kampala tomorrow with Odumbe promising the beginning of a renaissance. “Our plan is simple, qualify then plan after that.”

Odumbe returns at a time when Cricket Kenya is still struggling to rise from the ashes after witnessing leadership wrangles in the past two years that have seen Jackie Janmohammed quit as chairperson before making a comeback following last week’s disputed elections.

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