Vadodara: They want to improve the quality of cricket in Kenya and if there is one man they are looking up to, it is PM Narendra Modi.

Kenyan national cricket team’s coach Thomas Odoyo said here on Sunday that Modi had talked of signing an agreement with Kenyan government wherein cricketers there would get help from Indian coaches.

“PM Modi had discussed about an agreement wherein the Indian government would be sending cricket coaches to Kenya to help improve the quality of cricket there. We had approached our government to help us in this and we hope that the agreement materializes soon,” said Odoyo.

“For our cricket team to play better, the Kenyan government will have to give us all the support as the other games are far more popular than cricket there. We need better facilities and coaching,” said Peter Ongondo, Kenya team manager .

The Kenyan team is camping in Vadodara to play matches against the senior teams here.

They are eyeing to qualify for the 2019 cricket World Cup and to ensure a good performance, the Kenyans are testing their mettle with the Baroda teams.

“Playing with the Baroda side is tough. In fact, the teams here are better than Nepal team against whom we will be playing soon in the World Cricket League Championship. The matches against Baroda will give us good practice as we need to perform well in the qualifiers for the world cup,” said Kenyan team captain, Rakep Patel.

Kenya lost to Baroda U-23 boys in its second match at Reliance Stadium on Saturday but it is looking forward for a competitive game against the Ranji probables and the one-day squad. “Kenya has always shared a special relationship with India when it comes to cricket. Former Indian cricketer Sandip Patil was our national team’s coach and ex-Baroda captain Jacob Martin too had played in Kenyan county matches. Baroda has always been a good luck charm for Kenya,” Ongondo added.

The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) too is keen to make an arrangement with the Kenyan cricket board to organize tournaments between both the teams. “We will try to organize reciprocal tournament wherein their team will play here and our team will tour Kenya. It will improve our quality of cricket. We had organized such reciprocal tournament in 2010-11 and it helped Baroda perform well that season,” said Snehal Parikh, BCA (in-charge), secretary.


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