Kenyanstar Of The Week; Kennedy Owino Ochieng

 

Age: 20 Years

Occupation: Student and cricket player

Hobbies: Playing and watching Cricket, Playing cricket on playstation, swimming, watching Formula 1 and Rugby.

Favourite food: Chicken and spaghetti

When did you start playing cricket?

It was in the year 2000, my friends and I would use a piece of wood as a bat and maize cobs or tennis balls as balls. It was really fun. I went to city primary school and I played there too. In 2005 I joined Kongoni’s cricket club in Nairobi club. I improved my skill and in 2006 I captained the under15 national team until 2008. From 2008-2009 I captained the under17 national team. In 2009 I was vice-captain of the under19 team then in 2010 I became the captain.

What position do you play?

I am a batter and a keeper.

Having played professionally in so many levels you have grown so much as a cricket player, what are some of the achievements?

When I was with the under 15 team, we got to represent Kenya in the East African tournament. Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya were the countries participating. We were number 2 and it was the first time I scored a century. With the same team I also got to perform in the Almarai U15 tournament which we won. In 2008 still with the sane team we participated in an in an international tournament. We went to the Caribbean, the West Indies but we were 8th.

In 2008-2009 with the U17 team we became the African Champions. To perform in the African tournament, we had to qualify by being the best in the region. We became the best in East Africa and then proceeded to be the best in Africa by beating Namibia and Ghana.

In 2010 with the U19, we went for African qualifiers in Namibia and became 2nd. This meant that we were to proceed to global qualifiers so as to get a shot at the world cup. We went for the global qualifiers in 2011 and we didn’t qualify for world cup.

You have traveled so much while doing what you love, how has this experience been for you? Any highlights?

It has been an eye opening experience for me. Just seeing how other teams play and getting more experience has been fantastic. When we went to the Caribbean with the U15 team, I realized there is a difference in even the land that we play in. Their environment was different; the ground was harder, making the ball bounce higher. It was challenging and the competition out there is so stiff it challenges you as a player. A good moment for me was when Cricket Kenya picked and paid for me to go to South Africa to attend a cricket academy. I learned a lot and improved my talent.

What team do you play for now?

I play in the Kenya elite and Kenya A side.

Do you have a specific coach and how often do you train?

No, I don’t. My coaches are from the teams I am with. Right now my coach is Mr. Joseph Angara; he has coached me from when I was with the U17 team. When I was with the U15 team, my coach was Mr. David Asichi. As for training; I train thrice a week when I am not in a team. With a team, I train daily. I also go to Sir Ali Muslim Club gymnasium to work on my strength and fitness.

Have you ever had any trying times in your career thus far?

When I was the captain of the U19 team, there was a time I was under a lot of pressure and my performance was really not as expected of a captain. My captaincy was almost stripped away and I actually felt like quitting. Thankfully, I got through that time and I did not quit, I believe it built me as a player and a person.

Who is your favourite cricket player?

My favourite player is Tillakaratne Dilshan. He is a Sri Lankan player. My team mates call me Dil Scoop, it’s is a dangerous shot that Dilshan is famous for. You bat the ball and it goes behind and over your head. It is dangerous because it can hit your forehead if it is done wrongly. I also like doing the dill scoop.

Having played in so many high profile games; I am sure you have a lot of accolades. Do you have any outstanding ones?

Other than the medals and certificates, I got a ‘Most Promising Player’ trophy in 2008 when we were in a tournament in South Africa. Also in the Nairobi Armstrong Tournament, I got a trophy for the best fielder.

What was your best moment so far in your career?

Every time I score above 50 is a best moment for me. I think my best moment would be when I was the captain of U17 team and we became the African champions. It was a big moment and we will go down in history for that win because it was the first time the tournament was being hosted in Africa. It was the birth of the tournament. I also enjoyed when my U19 team was at its prime in 2010-2011. We had a really strong team but we failed to go past the global qualifiers. We went so far as a team, but not far enough to our satisfaction.

What are the challenges you face as a cricket player in Kenya?

There is lack of training facilities and training not being taken seriously. We also do not get exposure. I believe exposure is important in any sport, so that we can be able to measure ourselves as a team and as players and improve our weaknesses. Also our federation ignores a team for a long period of time if they fail to achieve as expected. We now have a new board, so I cannot complain about them, we have to give them time. The national team is performing well, so that may be a good sign. There was a time when I was in U19 team; we had to play in place of the senior team in the African 20-20 championships. The senior team was on a go slow due to the ill treatment they were receiving from the board. We came out third in that competition.

What is your ambition with regards to cricket?

Honestly, it all depends on the national team’s performance. If they keep on performing well I might actually be inspired to continue with my career. So right now I am concentrating on my education mostly, but I am focused on cricket too.

Who would you like to appreciate?

My coach Joseph Angare. He has been with me throughout my career. He follows up on what I am doing and how I am improving as a player, the challenges I face and he advises me well.

My dad is always also supporting me and encouraging me. I would have given up along the way, if it weren’t for them.

Parting shot:

Everyone should have passion in whatever they do. Resilience is important and always work hard, it pays.

 

Richard Omwela retained his chairmanship during Kenya Rugby Union elections  held late on Wednesday pipping Sasha Mutai by just two votes.

Shujaa will start their Hong Kong Sevens campaign with a Pool B clash against Canada at 3.18pm East African Time  on Friday 7 April 2017.

They will then complete their pool matches on Saturday 8 April, starting with a fixture against series leaders South Africa at 8.56am and France at 12.34pm respectively.

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the seventh round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series. Shujaa currently sit 12th on the log with 40 points.

Janet "Shebesh" Okello leads the overall try scoring charts. The Northern Suburbs speedster has scored a series leading 26 tries.

The most eagerly waited match by Kenya as a country;  if Stars could pull a surprise in Lagos then Stars would be near their dream of playing in their first ever World Cup and that would have been France 98.

Kenyan driver Carl Tundo has proved to be a real contender in the race for the African Rally Championship title after he finished third in the Kenya Safari Rally over the weekend in Nairobi.

The Safari rally is the third round on the 2017 ARC calendar. Tundo, who survived a roll in the last stage of the race, came third in his Lancer Evo10.

Tapio Laukannen became the first Finnish to win the 65th edition of the Kenya Safari Rally. He showed earlier intent for victory posting the fastest time on day one.

Another Kenyan Jassi Chatthe, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, who won the ARC title in 2015, finished sixth over the weekend, to go second with eight points, ten points behind Tundo.

The rest of the registered ARC drivers have not scored any points after three rounds. Ian Duncan and Ammar Slatch settled for second overall, 22 seconds behind the leader.

A total of 44 drivers started the Safari Rally that returns to ARC calendar after a hiatus two years. Safari Rally is one of the most competitive races on the African calendar.

Defending champion Don Smith from Kenya pulled out of the race at the 11th hour in protest claiming unfairness in the starting order. The final start list order released on Thursday had placed the 2016 champion as car number 33 yet the provisional start order had placed him at car number 2.

It means the rally revved off on Friday morning without the African defending champion. Yet, article 45.3 of the rules and regulations, gives the ARC contenders priority on a start order of a continental race.

Valery Bukera of Burundi and last year’s Mountain Gorilla victor was the best-placed foreign driver in 11th place out of the 30 finishers, while South Africa’s Geoff Bell was the best-placed two-wheel-driver in 14th place, driving a Datsun 260Z.

The fifth round of the ARC goes to South Africa for the Sasol Rally next month.

ARC Driver Standing

1. Carl Tundo (Ken): 18 points

2. Jassi Chatthe (Ken): 8 points

Safari Rally results

1. Tapio Laukkanen: 01:54:12

2. Ian Duncan: 01:54:34

3. Carl Tundo: 01:56:18

4. Onkar Rai: 01:57:01

5. Karan Patel: 02:01:13

The figure of Ksh. 600,000 released by Gor Mahia today, as the total gate collections for the Gor Mahia vs Zoo Kericho match in Kisumu are ‘stupid figures’,  Gor Mahia Organizing Secretary Judith Anyango has told Kenyanstar in a long ranging Interview.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been ruled out up for to a month with calf injury suffered in loss at West Brom, the scan has revealed.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) has announced that seven International Federations (IFs) have made bids for membership that meet its criteria, with their applications set to be discussed at the SportAccord Convention next month.

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba), International Triathlon Union (ITU), International Wushu Federation (IWUF), International Cycling Union (UCI), Union Internationale Motonautique (International Powerboating Union), International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) and United World Wrestling (UWW) have all applied to become IWGA members.

The federations have been invited to give a final presentation to the IWGA Annual General Meeting at SportAccord Convention on April 3 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The IWGA currently has 37 member federations. For IFs to become a member of the IWGA, membership of SportAccord is a prerequisite. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in the World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.

Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games from July 20-30, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. Birmingham, Alabama will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981 after it was formally awarded rights to the 2021 Games in April 2015.

The World Games - under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - showcases more than 25 sports, such as squash, karate, sumo and dance sport.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signalled its opposition to the proposed reforms of the world game outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating they will “adversely affect” the very nature of the world governing body.

The ICC is set to make a final decision on a new financial and governance structure at a meeting in April after agreeing “in principle” last month to reverse a move to put the boards of India, Australia and England in a dominant position of the game’s administration.

The BCCI, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, voted against the proposal to perform a u-turn on the 2014 decision after failing to defer the vote during February’s ICC board meeting in Dubai. Under the proposed restructuring, a new revenue distribution model would seek to counter the imbalance favouring the so-called big three, with India the most influential voice in the world game.

In a communication of its preliminary observations on the proposed ICC constitution, reported by the ESPNCricinfo website, the BCCI said the changes were “vague” and “unclear”. The status of the reforms package was thrown into question last week by the resignation of Shashank Manohar, who has been driving efforts to limit the influence of the ‘big three’, as chairman of the ICC.

“The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members' organisation to a supra-national regulator,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in an email sent to ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins. “This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members.

“Further, several of the proposed changes are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.”

Johri also reserved heavy criticism for the new financial model proposed by the ICC, stating it is “arbitrary” and not “agreeable”. Under the current ‘big three’ model, full members receive a contribution cost for participating in ICC events based on their perceived value in the sport. The new model is set to remove these contribution costs and instead introduce a set figure allocated to each of the 10 full members, along with two second-tier associate members - Ireland and Afghanistan.

Johri said, according to ESPNCricinfo: “The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.”

He added: “Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognise the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.”

France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will want to play in the Champions League at Old Trafford next season. 

Jose Mourinho snapped up the veteran forward on a free transfer last summer and the Swede has been a talismanic presence at Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic is yet to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but according to Swedish daily Expressen, the forward will sign on the dotted line soon to prolong his stay at Old Trafford for one more season.

And Solskjaer believes the Swede will want to experience Champions League football with Manchester United, if they qualify for next season, as he feels there is no better club than the Red Devils to represent on the biggest stage of European football. 

The former Manchester United striker told Expressen: “We hope that we can qualify for the Champions League next season.  

“Then I expect Ibrahimovic will want to play on the biggest stage for the best club.

“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United.

"They are the biggest and the best club.”

Despite winning countless league titles and domestic cups in various countries, Ibrahimovic is yet to win the Champions League in his career.

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has described potential interest in him from Barcelona as "special".

The 22-year-old penned a new six-year deal with the Gunners last November but has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with a number of top clubs across Europe thought to be interested.

Bellerin began his career as part of the Barcelona youth setup before leaving for Arsenal in 2011, and in recent days the La Liga giants have been linked with a £35m bid this summer as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.

"It's nice there are a lot of big clubs that are interested in me, but if one of those is Barcelona that's special," Bellerin told Sport.

"I don't forget I grew up in that home and I will never forget my stay at Barcelona... I left Barcelona because I felt the club was not confident in me, I didn't feel valued, I was disenchanted."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described speculation of Bellerin's potential exit as 'very difficult to take seriously'.

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France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

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Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.

The protracted saga of Arsene Wenger’s contract situation is nearing its conclusion – and it’s not the one Arsenal fans were hoping for.

Although the offer of a new two-year deal has been on the table of some time, there had been speculation that Wenger would call time on his Emirates career after over two decades at the club.

However, despite another high-profile Champions League exit and another title challenge falling away before it could really begin, the Frenchman has seemingly become more resolute in his belief that he can steer the Gunners out of the trouble they now find themselves in.

Multiple sources on Sunday night and Monday morning have reported that Wenger will tell the Arsenal board that he wants to stay at the club beyond this season – for either one or two more years – in a decision that will not be a particularly popular one if and when it is confirmed.

In fact, the Guardian report suggests that Wenger and the board are looking for the best way of telling the fanbase that there will be no change in manager, which in itself would suggest just how toxic the atmosphere around the club has become. Confirming a deal so soon after a poor 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth in five league matches – that has seen them slip to sixth in the table and putting their top four chances in real danger.