Otieno and Bundi axed from squad

Lit­tle sur­prise as CK re­tain quad­ran­gu­lar squad for the WLCL

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY DUN OKINYO @okiny­o_­dun

Seam­ers Elijah Otieno and Em­manuel Bundi have been dropped from the na­tional cricket team for the up­com­ing cru­cial ICC World Cricket League Cham­pi­onship (WLCL) ties against Hong Kong.

The se­lec­tion com­mit­tee named a 14-mem­ber squad for the two matches last week.

There were no real sur­prises in the squad as the se­lec­tors de­cided to drop only Otieno and Bundi from the squad that played in last month’s quad­ran­gu­lar, which at­tracted Kenya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Uganda.

Otieno had a poor sea­son in the Nairobi Pro­vin­cial Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Su­per League. From 15 matches he played for Swamibapa, Otieno who has been in the na­tional team for nine years, failed to bag more than six wick­ets. He was also not among the top 50 bowlers in the league. There is also no place for for­mer na­tional team player Mau­rice Ouma, who was the sec­ond best bats­man with 736 runs from 14 in­nings and league’s top wicket keeper

Ir­fan Karim will once again be re­lied on to of­fer ser­vices be­hind the stumps in the ab­sence of Ouma.

Karim, who has been im­pres­sive in most games de­spite his slow in­nings, will also be ex­pected to lead the bat­ting that also in­cludes the NPCA League top scorer and cap­tain Rakep Pa­tel. Other bats­men, who have won the con­fi­dence of the se­lec­tors are Alex Obanda, Dhiren Gon­daria, Naren­dra Kalyan, Collins Obuya, Gur­deep Singh, Karan Kaul and Rushab Pa­tel. Obanda has had a luke­warm sea­son, where he only scored one cen­tury. How­ever, his per­for­mance saw him fin­ish the league in third place.

Kalyan makes a come­back in the team af­ter miss­ing a cou­ple of matches due to work com­mit­ments.

Collins Obuya will also be ex­pected to use his long ex­pe­ri­ence in the team in en­sur­ing that bat­ting car­ries the day in Kenya’s match over un­pre­dictable Hong Kong.

Ne­hemiah Odhiambo will be tasked in lead­ing Kenya bowl­ing at­tack along­side Lu­cas Olu­och who is re­turn­ing to the team af­ter miss­ing the quad­ran­gu­lar due to an in­jury.

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