NAIROBI, Africa, September 20, 2007 – West Indian Roger Harper on Wednesday called for a proper cricket development programme in Kenya to prevent the sport lagging behind.
The 44-year-old Guyana national is leaving the country on Friday after 20 months of coaching the national team.
His only achievement was winning the World Cricket League title in February but a dismal performance at the World Cup in the Caribbean and the inaugural Twenty20 championships in South Africa sullied the former West Indies coach’s credentials.
“We have had our high points and also times when we could have done better,” said Harper, who opted to return home after turning down an extension of his one-year contract.
“I would like to think that we’ve made some positive steps as a team and some of the young players have grown, and even though I wouldn’t be here, I look forward on them to building on the foundation that has been laid and even going to greater things.”
Harper, who is credited with building a cohesive and disciplined playing unit, said the team’s future success would depend on the commitment of the players and cricket administration in building sound structure of development.
He accepted the team’s batting lacked consistency and termed the fielding as “outrageous” during the World Twenty20 championships where Kenya took a big hammering against New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the opening round matches in Durban and Johannesburg last week.
“Beating the top-ranked teams is never going to be easy,” Harper said. “Kenya did well in winning the associate members tournament but we were a little of bit of disappointment in our performance at the World Cup and the Twenty20. The players did not believe on themselves when it came to playing against the big teams.” (AFP)