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Former Kenyan international cricketer
says game standards have slumped

by Ben Ochieng NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A former Kenyan international cricket player on Saturday lamented at the current state of the game in the country, saying that sport’s overall standards have slumped.

Karan Kaul, who retired from cricket two years ago to set up a cricket academy, said that Kenyans need to go back to the drawing board to arrest the situation before its dire state became irreversible.

"There is no doubt that cricket in Kenya has taken a beating, and the only remedy is to go back to the grassroots and start afresh as though we have never played the game before," Kaul told Xinhua in an interview at an international coaching forum in Nairobi.

So dire is the state of cricket in Kenya to an extent that there are even no national officials to run the game in the country after two factions emerged, each claiming legitimacy over the other.

Kaul, who is the director of Star Field Sports Academy, said he started the institution in 2017 after he realized that cricket was at its watershed and needed to be revived.

"I started with five players and now we have a student enrollment of 250. This state of affairs has convinced me that there is interest and talent out there that needs to be tapped," he said.

Kaul said that he came up with the idea of setting up the academy following his many trips outside the country for international matches where he was awed by the facilities and structures for the game.

The workshop was conducted by Ryan Cook, head coach of South African-based Gary Kirsten Academy and who is also the assistant coach of Bangladesh national cricket team.

Ryan, alongside his father Jimmy Cook, who is a former South African national team player and Garreth van Hoesslin, director of coaching at Gary Kirsten Cricket, are in the country to conduct the coaching sessions between April 6 and 12.

Over 30 coaches drawn from Kenya, Uganda and Sri Lanka are attending the workshop which is a partnership between the two academies.


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