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Kamande plays down rift

COLOMBO, February 28- Kenyan skipper Jimmy Kamande Monday brushed aside reports of a rift between the players and their West Indian coach Eldine Baptiste, saying such issues crop up only after defeats.

Reports coming from Kenyan capital Nairobi said there were divisions within the squad, with Cricket Kenya chief Samir Inamdar blaming those differences for the team’s lacklustre performances.

But Kamande said his team, with two crushing World Cup defeats so far, were united.

"I have read it like you. My team is very, very solid. We all are together as one," said Kamande ahead of his team’s third match in Group A against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.

"When the team loses, people try to find a way for excuses. There’s no excuses on those lines, just that we haven’t performed well so far and will try to do well in the rest of the games."

Kamnade said Kenya — shot out for 69 against New Zealand and 112 in their match against Pakistan — needed to get the basics right.

"We don’t want to complicate the game of cricket," said Kamande. "Obviously we haven’t been on top form, but some changes have to be done, batting order maybe, so that you can’t continue doing the same thing."

Sri Lanka, the captain said, were one of the top teams in the competition, despite their narrow defeat to Pakistan.

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"We have our third game against another top side so we have to work on that and try to get a good result. Hopefully, I will get the best out of my players and that’s what players realise," said Kamande.

Kenya beat Sri Lanka in the 2003 World Cup, in Nairobi, but have a 4-1 losing record in ODIs between the two sides.

Kamande said the pressure was on the 1996 champions.

"Sri Lanka look solid up there, but we have nothing to lose. They are the ones who would be under pressure to perform at home and now obviously having lost to Pakistan it’s a must-win game for them.

"We will try to put some pressure on them. We will try to go out there and bowl at a nice tight line and length and if we do it will add problems for the Sri Lankan side."

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