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Kenya loses host right for international
cricket match to South Africa       

By John Kwoba NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Political uncertainty in Kenya has forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reschedule the World Cricket League Championship qualifying match between leaders Netherlands and Kenya to South Africa.

Nairobi was to host the sixth round match from Oct. 6-8 but with repeat presidential election still standing in the way, the global cricket body cannot risk sending foreign players to Kenya for security reasons. Now the match will be staged in East London in South Africa on the same dates.

Kenya, which held its general elections on Aug. 8, had the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land annulled the Presidential Poll results and a new date has been set for Oct. 26. There is tension in the country and ICC is not ready to gamble with the safety of its players.

“The Netherlands Cricket Board seems to have raised the issue with the International Cricket Council (ICC), which have informed us that the game will now be played at the Buffalo Park cricket stadium in East London in South Africa,” Cricket Kenya said in a statement.

It is the second WCL Championship match Kenya is being forced to play away from home. The country is currently placed fifth in the standings.

“The decision to play the game in the colder climate of East London may not favor our team which is playing the catch-up to finish among the top four in the championship,” said Cricket Kenya.

The Netherlands head the eight-team championship with 16 points followed by Papua New Guinea, which are two points behind in second place from 10 matches played. Scotland are third on 13 points with Hong Kong in fourth with 11.

The top four teams will join the lowest ranked four from ICC One Day International (ODI) championships for the 2018 Cricket World Cup qualifiers, which will decide who plays in the 2019 World Cup in England.



Kenya optimistic to beat Ethiopia in next U-20 women’s WC qualifier

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s junior football team will carry an advantage in their return leg match against Ethiopia in their qualifier for the 2018 FIFA under 20 Women’s World Cup.

With a 2-2 draw, Kenya hold a small edge over Ethiopia and will require a 1-1 draw or a win of any margin to secure their place in the next phase where the winner will have to battle with either Algeria or Ghana in another two-legged tie.

“It is not easy to secure a draw away coming from two goals down. It was unfortunate to concede early but the fighting spirit the team showed has convinced me they are capable of bigger challenges,” said Musa Otieno, who was part of the team’s technical bench.

Kenya’s next assignment against Ethiopia in the 2018 FIFA under 20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers will be played in Machakos on Sept. 29.

The Harambee Starlets fought their way up from goal down to draw 2-2 with Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday, meaning that they carry two advantageous away goals heading into next week’s return leg.

Coach Otieno lauded the team work and focus the team showed when pinned against all odds saying he is hopeful they will record success in the return match.

“Our focus now is on the second leg and hopefully, we will get positive results and progress to the second round,” said the coach.

This was Starlets second game in the qualification process, as they beat the Zebras of Botswana 7-1 in the opening round of qualification away at the Lobatse Sports Complex on July 21.

Botswana did not honor the return leg match giving the Kenyan side a through ticket to the next phase.


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