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Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 17:58 GMT

Patil plans return home

Sandeep Patil Sandeep Patil will step down as Kenya coach at the end of the World Cup despite leading the side to a surprise semi-final place.

"I signed a four-year contract just after the last World Cup which ends at the conclusion of the tournament," Patil said after the side booked their spot by downing Zimbabwe.

"I have decided to return to India. I don't have a position to go back to but Mr Dalmiya, the Indian board president, has shown an interest."

Patil, a member of India's World Cup-winning team in 1983, will hope to guide his new team to victory over his old one when the sides meet in the Durban semi-final on 20 March.

"India are a great side. Our aim was always to reach the Super Six," he said.

" It's a great feeling, we're happy and I'm sure people back home are happy for us as well "
Batsman Maurice Odumbe

"But if we play good cricket anything is possible."

Patil insisted that all the praise for Kenya's success, their first in 15 one-day internationals against Test nation Zimbabwe, belonged to the team and captain Steve Tikolo.

"I'm delighted but all the credit belongs to the players. We had some great bowling at the start with Martin Suji [who took three for 19] and our spinners bowled well.

"Steve has led from the front. He hasn't been at his best with the bat but you can't keep a good batsman down and I'm sure a big score is just around the corner."

Patil added he hoped the International Cricket Council (ICC) would recognise Kenya's performances when in future deliberations over Test status.

The ICC currently plans to make the East Africans the 11th Test-playing nation by 2006.

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Related to this story:

Buoyant Kenya reach semis (12 Mar 03 |  World Cup )
Kenya confound doubters (12 Mar 03 |  World Cup )
Streak blames 'soft' dismissals (12 Mar 03 |  World Cup )
Have Your Say on Zimbabwe (04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say )
Have Your Say on Kenya (04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say )

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