Kenya men’s national cricket team will tour India to play four build up games against Baroda Select sides between February 28 and March 9.
The team leaves Nairobi on Monday, February 27 afternoon for India, and thereafter leave India for Nepal on March 9.
The Kenyan side coached by former international player Thomas Odoyo will have an ample time to package and repackage itself for different game situations before they meet Nepal in the 10-day warm up ties in India.
Kenya faces Nepal in two International Cricket Council’s World Cricket League Championship. Both matches will be staged at the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kirtipur, Nepal on March 11 and March 13.
Cricket Kenya is not leaving anything to chance as it prepares the team to bounce back to top flight championships by making the cut for the 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in the first attempt. The top four teams in the ICC WCL will join the four lowest ranked teams from the ICC ODI Championship (as on September 2017) in the qualifiers. The league winner will also have the chance to challenge for a place on the ICC’s ODI Rankings from 2018 onwards.
“We are looking to post great results against Nepal and as such we are giving the team much exposure ahead of the fixtures. The tour of India is primarily to help the team acclamatize since Nepal and India have similar climatic conditions," said Josphat Muriithi, the general Manager of Cricket Kenya.
He added: "Nepal plays at the same level as Kenya, while India is one of the best cricket countries in the world so it was prudent that CK chose the latter for build up. Baroda in particular has a very competitive cricket league that features both former and current India National team players,"
In the second instance for a team to make it to the qualifiers, the last four sides will be relegated to Division Two and play with the finalists of Division Three for the remaining two spots in the 2018 CWC Qualifier. The ICC World Cup tournament will comprise 10 teams playing in a round robin format.
Currently, the Kenyan lineup is position five with eight points, one place above their opponents (six points) in the eight-team ICC WCL. The Netherlands are at the summit of the League with 16 points as Papua New Guinea places second with 12, and Hong Kong and Scotland tie with 11. Only Hong Kong and Netherlands have played 10 matches, whereas the rest have taken to the crease eight times. Namibia and United Arab Emirates are seventh and eight respectively with two points each.
Meanwhile, Ireland and Afghanistan will not compete in the this WCLC tournament as both of them have been made eligible to attempt to qualify for the 2019 World Cup directly via ODI ranking with the rest of the top Ten Test teams the likes of India, England, Australia.
After the Nepal date, Kenya faces the Netherlands between June and August, and Scotland November and December.