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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 22:39 GMT
Tikolo: Kenya deserve respect
Steve Tikolo
Tikolo hit out at claims that Kenya have been lucky to advance
Kenya captain Steve Tikolo believes his side's battling performance in the narrow loss against India proves they deserve their place in the Super Six.

Tikolo has been hurt by comments in some quarters suggesting that Kenya had been lucky to advance to the latter stages of the World Cup.

"Obviously the performance is there for them to see," he said after a six-wicket loss in their first Super Six game.

Kenya's surprise progress has been aided partly by the four points they gained when New Zealand refused to play their group match in Nairobi due to security concerns.

However, they also caused the upset of the World Cup so far by defeating Sri Lanka.

"The critics have been talking about us getting the four points from New Zealand. But they are forgetting that we had to win three games to get to the Super Sixes," Tikolo said.

"So you know it is painful to hear those kind of remarks. But again we are trying and hopefully we will shut our critics up."

After posting a challenging total of 225, Kenya, who do not yet have Test status with the International Cricket Council, soon had the Indians struggling.

We were lucky and we will have to pick up our intensity level from now on
India captain Sourav Ganguly

Tikolo admitted the team had sensed victory after Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag fell to make the score 11 for two.

"We know what type of batsmen Sachin and Sehwag are. When we got them out we believed we had a chance to win, if we were to get another quick wicket," he said.

Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh saw India through, but afterwards their captain Ganguly admitted that it had been a close call.

"I don't think their performance against us was a flash in the pan," he said.

"They beat Sri Lanka and they gave us a tough time today. We were in the dumps and we needed to play well to pull through."

Tikolo said the Kenyan cricket association has been clamouring to play more games against established sides for the last three or four years, but its pleas have met with lukewarm response from the ICC.

"It's up to the ICC to recognize that Kenya needs to play more cricket," Tikolo said.

"On the test issue, the performance is there for them to see. I believe we again proved ourselves so it is up to the ICC."

Tikolo added that he hoped Kenya's display at the World Cup would increase the popularity of the game in his country.

"We need to spread the game all over the country and get more players coming and taking it to the schools. I am hoping our performance in the World Cup will open doors," he said.





Links to more Kenya stories


 

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Kenya captain Steve Tikolo
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04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
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04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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