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Kenyan cricket team set for international friendlies

23 December 2013, 18:00

Nairobi - The Kenya national cricket team will play two international build up matches against Hong Kong and Nepal prior to their trip to New Zealand for the World Cup qualifiers next year.

The team, which has returned from the ICC Inter-Continental matches in Dubai, has landed the build up matches as part of their preparations for the 2015 ICC World Cup qualifiers scheduled to take place in New Zealand between January 13 and February 1.

This means that Kenya will play ties against Hong Kong, China in their first build-up match to be played at Christchurch on January 10 and Nepal in their second friendly match at the same venue on January 11, two days before they start their World Cup qualifiers campaign.

Steve Tikolo, Kenya's interim coach said the matches will be important to help Kenya acclimatise prior to the tournament proper.

"The build-up matches will help us to acclimatize to weather conditions in New Zealand that are very different with Dubai and Kenya," Tikolo said Sunday in Nairobi.

"Playing the two teams (Hong Kong, China and Nepal) would also help us know their approach of the game just in case we meet in Super Six Stage."

This will be the first time that Tikolo will be leading the team, and it offers him a chance to know where best to position his players and analyse their strength and weaknesses.

Kenya is in Pool "B" together with Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Uganda and Netherlands. Group A consists of United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Canada, Hong Kong, China and Nepal. Top three finishers in each group advance to the Super Six Stage.

Super Six finalists qualify for 2015 World Cup to be hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

According to the qualifiers fixtures released by International Cricket Council, Kenya opens its campaign with a match against Papua New Guinea at New Plymouth on January 13.

Tikolo charges would then take on Namibia in their second fixture programmed for January 17 before engaging neighbours Uganda two days later. Kenya play their final group match against formidable the Netherlands on January 23.

"We've played all these teams before and we know their strong and weak points. We met Papua New Guinea at recent Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai and we've idea on how they approach the game," said Tikolo.

Papua New Guinea (177-4) beat Kenya (175-6) by four wickets during the match played November 15.

"Kenya and the Netherlands teams meet regularly especially in the World Cricket League and so the sides are not new to each other," he added.


WRAP: English Premiership

21 October 2016, 19:13

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