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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 06:27 GMT

Odumbe calls for Test status
Maurice Odumbe in action
Odumbe was instrumental in Kenya's win on Saturday

Kenyan hero Maurice Odumbe believes his team deserve to be awarded Test status following their historic qualification for the second phase of the World Cup.

Tournament minnows Kenya joined Australia and India as the first three sides to reach the Super Six stage after beating Bangladesh by 32 runs in Group B at The Wanderers.

Odumbe, voted Man of the Match for his impressive display with both bat and ball during the game, reckons the African side's successful efforts should now be rewarded.

"We want to play test cricket and we don't mind being with the big boys," said the former captain, who top-scored with a 46-ball 52 not out and took four for 38 in 10 overs on Saturday.

"The Kenya (cricket) association has been lobbying very hard for test status. I don't know how far along it has gone but I definitely believe we belong there.

Odumbe's hopes for Test status may become a reality sooner than he thinks after the BBC Sport website revealed last week that Kenya could be playing Test cricket within the next three years.

A few months ago we almost knocked off Australia
Maurice Odumbe
The Kenyans took three years of disappointment into Saturday's game, with Test status having been awarded to Bangladesh ahead of them in 2000.

But Kenya have now beaten the Tigers in six of their seven one-day meetings, while their opponents have struggled to justify their position as cricket's 10th Test-playing nation.

Bangladesh have proved the move up to Test cricket is far from easy, having failed to win in match in 32 one-day internationals.

But Odumbe still believes Kenya need to be given the opportunity.

"Initially we will struggle but, unless you are put in that position, you will never know.

"A few months ago we almost knocked off Australia," he said, referring to Kenya's five-wicket defeat by the world champions in Nairobi last September.

"It takes only 10 good balls and voila - things change. We have to be optimistic."

Kenya, who already have one-day status, recorded their first World Cup victory with a shock upset of West Indies in 1996 and have won four of their five group matches at this tournament - one a forfeit after New Zealand refused to travel to Nairobi.

The World Cup technical committee have, meanwhile, turned down a request from Kenya to penalise New Zealand because the cancellation of the game cost them a chance to improve their run rate.

An ICC statement said tournament playing conditions could not be altered retrospectively.

Links to more Kenya stories


Kenya's day to remember
01 Mar 03 |  Kenya
Kenya book Super Six place
01 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Kenya storm into Super Sixes
01 Mar 03 |  Photo Galleries
Full scorecard
05 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Have Your Say on Kenya
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Bangladesh
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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