NAIROBI // The UAE's opening ICC Interncontinental Cup opponets continue to be hampered by off-field uncertainty after five first XI players rejected their central contracts with Cricket Kenya.
Kenya could now field an understrength side against Kabir Khan's team in Nairobi next week after the five — including the experienced opening batsman Alex Obanda and the pacemen Nehemiah Odhiambo & Elijah Otieno — refused to sign a new contract dating from July 1.
Out of the 13 Kenyan players offered contracts, only seven had signed a contract while the five have rejected terms, claiming the increased amounts were insufficient.
"We are very pleased with the group of players who have committed to Cricket Kenya but obviously disappointed that some players chose not to sign their new contracts," the Cricket Kenya chief Tom Sears said.
The Kenyan players had been offered a basic increase of 10 per cent to their monthly retainer, according to Cricket Kenya, as well as guaranteed match fees for their domestic cricket.
"The fact that they have declined these improved offers calls into question some of the advice they have been receiving, but that is a matter for the players themselves," Sears said.
Kenya are already in a transitional stage following the new appointment of Collins Obuya as captain and Michael Hesson, the New Zealander, as coach.
Cricket Kenya remain optimistic that the rebel cricketers would consider their stand and continue to play next week without signing a contract.
Their absence, though, would mean Kenya will be understrength for the Intercontinental Cup match and the 50-over matches against the UAE.