Cricket Kenya has announced that seven players have agreed new national squad contracts with further offers to additional players to be made in due course.
An original 13 contracts were offered and the following players have signed their new agreements: Collins Obuya, Seren Waters, Hiren Varaiya, Rakep Patel, Runesh Gudka, Lucas Oluoch and Ragheb Aga.
Cricket Kenya has also agreed terms with Tanmay Mishra who is going to play in Indian domestic cricket this season but will remain available for the national team. CK is happy to support his ambitions to play at a higher level overseas and will work closely with him to ensure he remains an integral part of the national squad.
Improved contract offers made to Alex Obanda, Shem Obado, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Elijah Otieno were rejected by these players on the grounds that the significantly increased amounts on offer to each of them were insufficient. The contract offers to these players have subsequently been withdrawn.
Chief Executive Tom Sears said: ‘We are very pleased with the group of players who have committed to Cricket Kenya but obviously disappointed that some players chose not to sign their new contracts. Tanmay Mishra has expressed an ambition to play in India and we are happy to work with any player who wants to challenge themselves in a higher level of cricket overseas. He has kept CK informed of his plans and we are pleased to support him in the opportunity he has been offered in Mumbai.
‘Every player received an offer amounting to a basic increase to their monthly retainer of at least 10% and the opportunity to improve that figure significantly through consistent high performance. They were also offered guaranteed match fees for domestic cricket for the first time which would significantly increase their earnings. The fact that they have declined these improved offers calls into question some of the advice they have been receiving but that is a matter for the players themselves.
‘Having met with all the players on several occasions and heard what they and their advisors have said, we made repeated offers during the last month to meet with the players individually to discuss their contract offers but some declined to do that, either through their own choice or by instruction from their advisors – if we are not told what the players’ issues are it is impossible for us to deal with them. Cricket Kenya can only wait for so long for players to commit and the time has come for us to move on and look at other players who are seeking the opportunity to show what they can do at international level.
‘We are looking to build a pool of committed and talented players who are desperate to represent their country. We already have a core group who have signed up and we are identifying other players with the right ability, potential, commitment and work ethic who will be offered the second tranche of national contracts in due course. Cricket Kenya has identified a group of players who have shown these qualities in domestic cricket and our Under 19 squad who have the chance to earn a contract in the coming weeks.’