The coach of the U-19 men’s national cricket team, Josphat Irungu, found his 10-day training camp at the Omtex ICWC Cricket Institute in the Saphale-Palghar district of India to be beneficial.
It has therefore declared that they are ready for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa Division One qualifiers 2024 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 23-29 January. July.
The hosts Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Namibia are the countries that will compete in the qualifiers, whose winner will get the only ticket to the World Cup in Sri Lanka.
The team of 18 players and five officials, including Irungu, returned home on Monday afternoon and proceeded directly to residential training at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani.
Irungu cut the squad down to 14 players and those eliminated were Hassan Lijodi, Saavir Karani, Yuvraj Bhatyani and Manav Devani.
Marking the first time the team has trained together since preparations for the competition began on May 9, the coach said the camp has allowed the players to gel well before the competition.
Initially, Irungu named a provisional squad of 38 players from Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa. While he was coaching the Nairobi players, those from Nakuru and Mombasa were coached by former Kenya internationals Peter Ongondo and Maurice Odumbe respectively.
“We have trained for a long time but not all the players have been together. With the camp, they are now familiar with each other and have bonded very well,” he told Nation Sport.
Omtex ICWC Cricket Institute boasts of being a state of the art cricket property spread over eight acres of land.
The center offers a certified cricket curriculum that addresses all aspects of the game, including coaching, umpiring, strength and conditioning, and curation.
“The guys have improved in all departments. They were managed by special coaches in bowling, batting and fielding. I feel they have improved a lot,” Irungu said of the camp, which was funded by the government in the amount of $19,000 (Sh2,674,250).
At his residential training camp at MISC, Irungu said the focus is on improving players’ hitting and putting them in a “game frame of mind.”
“I can’t complain (about the team’s preparation for the qualifiers). We are up for the task,” Irungu said.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time. Every team is a threat.”
The team is expected to travel to Tanzania on Friday night.
Brian Likavu (WK) – Kongonis Cricket Club of Kenya
Darsh Panchani – Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj – Bat
Raj Manji – Sikh Union Sports Club – Bat
Yash Gohil (WK) – Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club – WK/ Bat
Vishil Patel- Ruaraka Sports Club – Leg Spin/Bat
Vaibhav Naresh – Stray Lions Cricket Club – Pace Mid/Bat
De an Omondi – Stray Lions Cricket Club – Medium Pace
Stian Smith – Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club – Bat
Krish Haria – Swamibapa Sports Club – Bat/Spin
Ken Mwangi – Obuya Cricket Academy – Medium Pace
Neel Doshi – Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club – Pace Mid/Bat
Arnav Patel – Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club – Out of Effect
Hitendra Sanghani – Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj – Left Arm Spin / Bat
Vatsal Shah – Mombasa Sports Club – Left Arm China