Maurice Odumbe, the former Kenya captain who once served a ban for alleged match fixing, has been appointed batting coach of the national team ahead of their crucial International Cricket Council World Cup 2019 league qualifier matches against Nepal.
Odumbe was one of Kenya’s few top-notch cricketers in the 1990s, when they made waves at the international level, qualifying for 1996 World Cup and even going on to beat West Indies in the tournament, played in the Indian subcontinent. Odumbe, a solid middle-order batsman and offspinner, didn’t do much with the bat in that low-scoring game in Pune, but picked up the wickets of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Roger Harper to be named the man of the match.
He went on to play 61 One-Day Internationals, scoring 1409 runs at an average of 26.09 and picking up 39 wickets at 46.33, and played a key role in Kenya entering the 2003 World Cup semifinals. But in August 2004, an ICC investigation found him guilty of accepting money from bookmakers and he was banned for five years, which effectively ended his career.
After the latest update, Odumbe, now 46, was set to join former teammates Thomas Odoyo, the head coach, and Lameck Onyango, the assistant coach to prepare for the two-match World Cricket League series against Nepal in Kirtipur on March 11 and 13.
“Maurice Odumbe is joining us as a batting consultant to bring a fresh approach for the Nepal series,” said Jackie Janmohammed, the Cricket Kenya chairperson. “Batting is one area that the team needs to focus on more, especially after the Kenyan batsmen faltered in the last match against Hong Kong.”
Kenya are No. 5 on the World Cricket League table and need to win at least two of their three remaining matches to have a realistic hope of progressing to the next round of qualifiers for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, to be played in England and Wales.