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