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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 March, 2003, 17:45 GMT
No Test fast-track for Kenya
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport in Johannesburg

Kenya skipper Steve Tikolo
2005 is the earliest Kenya will be accorded Test status, says the ICC

Kenya's dream of attaining Test status soon after the World Cup has been put on hold by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Steve Tikolo's team had thousands of cricket fans enthralled through their remarkable feat of reaching the semi-finals.

Although the ICC said Kenya would not be fast-tracked into Tests straight away, it said initial forecasts of 2006 would be brought forward a year.

It seems likely the Africans will become the 11th Test nation in June, 2005.

Speaking at a news briefing in the north of the city, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said: "Kenya was an issue that was on the agenda for the board prior to their success in this World Cup.

"Over the last six months, the ICC has been working with Kenya to plot a way forward to eliminate some of the problems we've had with Bangladesh since they were accorded Test status.

"Over the next three years the ICC will put in place with Kenya a very detailed strategic plan that could give Kenya better access to the top cricketing nations."

Funds would be available to let them play three, four and five-day cricket, he added.

But now, because of the their success in South Africa, the strategic plan has been reduced to a two-year time frame.

Speed concluded: "That's not to say Kenya will [start playing Tests] from June 2005, and we must also address the issue of how many countries can play Tests."

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