Three of the country’s most talented young players have signed new national squad contracts with Cricket Kenya.
Duncan Allan, Irfan Karim and Dominic Wesonga have each signed their first national contracts and will be part of the Kenya squad to travel to the Netherlands next week for the ICC Intercontinental match and two ODI’s.
All-rounder Allan, aged 19, was recently named Player of the Tournament at the ICC Under 19 Global Qualifier in Ireland while wicketkeeper batsman Karim, 18, recently scored a fine century against Indian tour team Andhra Pradesh. Dominica Wesonga, 23, appeared recently against the UAE in the I Cup and has been training with the National squad in recent months.
Chief Executive Tom Sears said: ‘These three players fully deserve their contracts on the back of some impressive performances. Just as important is their desire and commitment to improve as cricketers and willingness to learn and embrace what the responsibilities of having a National contract involve.
‘Duncan and Irfan will be studying overseas but both are at excellent universities with outstanding cricket programmes and National coach Mike Hesson will be liaising with them and their coaches closely to monitor their progress and ensure they are available for key dates when they will be needed for Kenya.
Following extensive consultations between the national selection panel, coaching staff and senior CK management following the recent Andhra Pradesh matches, eight other players received contract offers but have declined them. Alex Obanda, Shem Obado, James Ngoche, Nehemiah Odhiambo and Elijah Otieno, who had previously declined full contracts, were made renewed offers while Morris Ouma, Nelson Odhiambo and Alfred Luseno also were also offered new agreements.
Each of these players was offered a three month agreement with a provision entitling them to a full contract until May 2012 subject to a satisfactory performance review at the end of three months. This review was to take place in conjunction with the same review that all current nationally contracted players will be required to go through.
Sears said: ‘It is a shame that yet again some of these players have turned down their contracts but that is their choice. We met with these players following the Andhra fixtures in which they were involved as we promised we would, we listened to their views and made them offers that reflected what they wanted – an agreement that would run until the end of the contract year in May 2012 if they met certain performance criteria which all players have to meet.
‘For some reason they have rejected this so now we have to move on and look for players who do want to be involved. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect was thatthey refused to represent their teams in the East African Competitions last weekend pulling out at the very last minute. Their participation in these competitions has nothing to do with their contract negotiations. If they thought that this action would help their cause they were very misguided and it is likely that all the players will face disciplinary action from their teams for letting them down after committing to play.
‘Again sadly it calls into question the professionalism of these players, how committed they are to putting in the effort, their application in fulfilling their potential and the advice they have been getting from their advisors.’