x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Kenya board boss says rift between coach and players behind poor show

Chairman Inamdar says their West Indian coach Baptiste has differences with senior players over his 'own way of doing things'.

NAIROBI // The Kenyan coach Eldine Baptiste has fallen out with some of his senior players at the World Cup, the country's leading cricket official suggested on Saturday.

Kenya have already been well beaten in their opening two matches of the tournament and face an uphill task to qualify for the final stages.

"The coach has his own way of doing things which did not go down well with some senior players," Cricket Kenya chairman Samir Inamdar told Reuters in a telephone interview from Mombasa.

"But ultimately, the coach has a duty to do and the players as well have a duty. I hope they will overcome those differences and play well."

New Zealand routed Kenya by 10 wickets after the Africans were skittled for 69 in Chennai last Sunday.

Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande attributed that debacle to nervousness and promised to do better against Pakistan in their second game in Hambantota on Wednesday. But the 1992 world champions beat them by 205 runs. "The Board and I are disappointed by the performance so far," said Inamdar.

"I don't mind losing to teams like New Zealand and Pakistan because they are obviously better than us but we should be competitive.

"We need to be seen to be fighting and scoring runs."

He continued: "We can do better. I have had a long chat with the team management. The chief executive (Tom Sears) returned home yesterday and we had a long chat as well and I expect them to lift themselves up in the remaining matches.

"Obviously, they did not get the basics right. The batting and bowling was not good at all," he said.

Kenya gave away 37 runs in wides, the joint highest in any one day international. In all, they conceded 46 extras in losing to Pakistan.

The Kenyan public has been also disappointed by the humiliating defeats. A former board chairman, Sharad Ghai, and former national player, Edward Tito, both said giving away 40-plus extras "was unacceptable".

Former West Indies international Baptiste was appointed Kenya coach in 2009.