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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 15:46 GMT
Kenya return to heroes' welcome
Steve Tikolo
Tikolo (centre) leads his players on a lap of honour
They may not have won the World Cup but Kenya still returned home to a heroes' welcome.

Traditional dancers, acrobats and beauty queens as well as thousands of fans welcomed back the beaten semi-finalists on Saturday.

Supporters packed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital Nairobi and lined the streets to cheer the players.

Accompanied by Minister for Sport Najib Balala, the team were driven to the Kenya Cricket Association headquarters through the city's streets.

We have started negotiations and lobbying with the International Cricket Council for Test status
Minister for Sport Najib Balala
"Kenya did not win the World Cup but we certainly won many hearts all over the world," said Balala.

"Steve [Tikolo] and the boys united the whole country.

"We are a power to reckon with.

"The government and Kenya Cricket Association today started negotiations and lobbying with the International Cricket Council for Test status.

"We shall make cricket a bigger national agenda and we must move the sport to the countryside.

"We want to develop cricket from grassroots and we want to see a competitive league system in the country."

Kenya became the first non-Test nation to get beyond the first stage of a World Cup.

The team were due to meet President Kibaki on Monday, with a gala night in their honour on 4 April.

Links to more Kenya stories


Have Your Say on Kenya
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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