NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31 – Kenya begin their International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup qualifying campaign against the Netherlands on Wednesday in the South African town of Potchefstroom.Andy Kirtsen’s side who have been in the rainbow nation for close to a month warmed up for the 12 country tournament with a seven run victory over Scotland on Sunday at Willowmore Park.
Despite that win, Steve Tikolo and company will be under pressure not just to qualify for 2011 but to put in a good performance especially after their 5-0 series whitewash to Zimbabwe earlier this year.
Kenya needs to secure a place amongst the top four nations in order to qualify for their fifth straight World Cup.
The 2003 World Cup semi finalists underwent specialized training in Pretoria with particular focus on bowling and fielding.
Apart form Netherlands, Kenya is Pool B alongside Bermuda, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Denmark and Afghanistan.
Netherlands is the top ranked associate ODI ranked country with Bermuda is in fourth place.
Promising batsmen Seren Waters and Alex Obanda will seize the opportunity to bounce back from a torrid series against the Zimbabweans.
Other young players like Elijah Asoyo and Rakep Patel will provide a supporting role to veterans like Thomas Odoyo, Jimmy Kamande and Hiren Varaiya.
There however are injury concerns on Kennedy Obuya and Alex Obanda. Obanda is nursing a shoulder injury while Obuya hurt his thumb last weekend but was batting in the nets on Thursday.
Steve Tikolo (capt.), Thomas Odoyo (v/capt.), Morris Ouma (w/k), Kennedy Obuya, Seren Waters, Collins Obuya, Jimmy Kamande, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Lameck Onyango, Hiren Varaiya, Peter Ongondo with Alex Obanda (12th man) and the other reserves being Rajesh Bhudiya, Rakep Patel and Elijah Asoyo.