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By Ben Ochieng


NAIROBI, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Since 2003 when Kenya reached the semi-finals of the 2003 Cricket World Cup after beating three Test-playing nations, the ground has shifted massively from underneath the senior national team.


The team has from that time become a minnow that is hardly a threat to any team on the continent, never mind amongst fellow Associate nations.


Former Kenyan internationals have expressed concern about the extent to which the country' s cricket has nosedived given that during the 2003 World Cup, Kenya beat three Test-playing nations (Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh) before eventually losing to India in the semis.


"Like anywhere else, when success comes, many people want to associate or be part of the success. Several unqualified and selfish people made entry in to the administration for various reasons," Shahid Bwibo said told Xinhua in Nairobi on Friday.


By 2002, Kenya was an envy of the cricket world and many expected the country to be awarded Test status.


Test status is the highest level of cricket and is currently composed of 10 members who automatically qualify for the World Cup owing to their high standards of the game.


Bangladesh was awarded the Test status in 2000 despite Kenya dominating against the country until 2003 because of the good development structures they put in place and the great support and influence from the sub-continent countries of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


Former national team captain, Aasif Karim said that whilst Bangladesh had weak results against Kenya, it had huge support from the Bangladeshi government and cricket was spread across the country.


"On the other hand, Kenya' s problems commenced with unrealistic demands from players, in-fights within the administration and lack of development structures among other issues," Karim said.


He said Kenya never deserved Test status because nothing was put in place that warranted the country to get the coveted position.


Kenya currently plays Associate cricket and risks sliding down to the Affiliate status if the downward spiral continues.


"Kenya has lost a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the elite of world cricket. It has lost its One Day status and is now at a lower division," another former player commented.


Over the years some of the Associates countries like Ireland, Netherlands, Afghanistan, Oman and Canada have done the well in the Associates' league and the success they are enjoying does not replicate what Kenyan cricket has.


When Jackie Janmohammed was elected chairperson of Cricket Kenya in 2012, a glass barrier was broken for women in sports and management in Kenya.


Many felt she would breathe fresh air in a sport where men had floundered and got Kenyan cricket out of the doldrums it was wobbling in and put it back on to the path it had veered from.


Raju Limbani said Cricket Kenya board has failed to insulate players from board room politics and for not giving the technical bench the final authority on team matters.


"The board has continued to rely on the unsustainable grants from the International Cricket Council, instead of broadening its sources of revenue. Even the task of organizing a recent commemorative match to mark 20 years since Kenya' s win over West Indies during the 1996 World Cup left others," he complained.


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