Odumbe wants ‘selfish’ batsmen at World Cup qualifier

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National cricket team head coach Maurice Odumbe has said his batsmen need to come out of their comfort zone and follow former internationals’ ‘selfish’ approach if they are to come out unscathed during the ICC men’s T20 World Cup qualifier that bowls off in Kampala, Uganda tomorrow.

Odumbe believes that the squad they named earlier in the week can lead to a resurgence in Kenya’s fortunes. Since their automatic qualification in the maiden ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa, Kenya has been reduced to mere spectators.

Odumbe said: “I believe Kenya have the raw materials to build another very strong side. The area of concern for me is mental; they need to toughen up. There is a softness about some of the batsmen that is preventing them from delivering big runs.”

He gave an example on how his former teammates Ravindu Shah, Steve Tikolo could take on any opposition in that kind of matches.

“All the batsmen possessed a selfish approach while in the middle. Nobody wanted to get out and sit in the dugout. Everyone wanted to get the chance to be in the middle and remain there until the end. I encourage these boys to do the same and we will be up there,” Odumbe said.

“Being named in the team was not enough. Each player was involved in a single-minded quest to be number one. Some players were referred to as being selfish, but we need more of that sort of attitude.”

Kenya opens their quest against Uganda where Odumbe will once again come up against Tikolo in a match that will set the tempo of the tournament, which also includes Namibia. Among the players that the former all-rounder is hoping to steer Kenya to the UAE World Cup later this year are Collins Obuya and Alex Obanda.

They are the only players who took part in Kenya’s last T20 World Cup appearance where they faced New Zealand and Sri Lanka, losing all their matches.

The two will expect to get support from Kanbis duo of Rakep Patel and Dhiren Gondaria as well as Irfan Karim.

The three batsmen have in the past displayed good show with the bat but their inability to kill off the game have raised concern.

In many occasions, the three have given Kenya a good start but have failed to see Kenya through.

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