Zimbabwe domestic franchises, Mashonaland Eagles and the MidWest Rhinos are set to host the Kenyan national cricket team for a Twenty20 tour of Zimbabwe. Kenya will send a 16-man squad to Zimbabwe after touring their visit to Namibia also as part of their November preparation for next year's World Twenty20 qualifying tournament.
The Kenyans started their Namibian leg of the tour on the 2nd November where played eight Twenty20 matches again the Namibia national team. They will arrive in Zimbabwe on the 15th of November where they will play four Twenty20 matches again Mash Eagles and two against the Midwest Rhinos. Kenya’s visit will be part of the two teams’ preparation for the 2011 Stanbic bank 20 series. Mash Eagles are the reigning champions from the 2nd edition of the tournament beating the MidWest Rhinos in the finals at Harare Sports Club in November 2010.
“My visit to Kenya Cricket’s CEO, Mr Tom Sears helped us foster this relationship. Zimbabwe has had a lot of team’s coming in this year, the likes of Australia ‘A’, South Africa ‘A’ among others and as a growing franchise we would like to give our players the best opportunities against quality opposition,” said MidWest rhinos Chairman, Ken Connelly.
The MidWest Rhinos made it into the finals of all three of Zimbabwe Cricket’s domestic competitions and are the best never to lift a title in domestic cricket. The next edition of the Stanbic Bank 20 series begins on the 24th of November and will be the ideal opportunity for local teams to prepare for the highly anticipated tournament. Cricket Kenya Chairman of Selectors Alpesh Vadher reiterated the Connelly's sentiments highlighting the how important the tour is for the Kenya national team in their world cup campaign.
“Following the completion of the East Africa Premier League these two tours will be crucial in developing our player’s skills in this format ahead of the T20 World Cup qualifying tournament next March. The EAPL has shown us that our players have a lot to learn about playing Twenty20 and the more matches we can play against suitable opposition the better.
“The two squads selected give opportunities to a number of players to show they have the ability to make the squad next year,” he said.
The Kenya Squad for Zimbabwe Ragheb Aga, Morris Ouma, Irfan Karim, Duncan Allan, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya Nehemiah Odhiambo, Nelson Odhiambo, Lucas Oluoch, Elijah Otieno, Alfred Luseno, Rakep Patel, Hiren Varaiya, Ibrahim Akello and Dominic Wesonga