The Kenya cricket team (often called as Kenya national cricket team) is the team that represents the country of Kenya playing the game of cricket at international level. They are now noticeable as one of the strongest of the associate member nations of the International Cricket Council – ICC, especially since the day they reached semi-final in the year of 2003 for the Cricket World Cup. They currently have ODI status until the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier.
Kenya started its international cricket in the year of 1951 when regular matches against Tanzania (later Tanganyika) and Uganda began. Touring teams of varying standard continued over the years. This also included a team of South African Non-Europeans captained by Basil D’Oliviera in the year of 1958. However, the South Africa won both the matches against Kenya on the tour, in addition to a match against East Africa.
Kenya is was also involved in making the East Africa Team which was combined with two other teams namely; Uganda and Tanzania. This became an associate member of the ICC in the year 1966. The team continued playing cricket and they were joined by Zambia in quadrangular tournament played annually from 1966-1980. There were three matches and all were drawn when India toured East Africa in the year of 1967. The tours were continued as England in 1972 and first class match between East Africa and the MCC at Nairobi Gymkhana Club in the year 1974. In the year 1975 Cricket World Cup in England, East Africa was one of the two non-test playing tams invited to the tournament, the other being Sri Lanka. Kenya, here, provided 14 men squad for the tournament.
ICC Membership and World Cup performance
Kenya broke away from the long considered East Africa team in the year of 1981 and joined the ICC in their own right as an associate member. This was done soon after their tour of Zimbabwe in the year 1980/81. Kenya played two three-day matches against Zimbabwe during that tour and unfortunately they lost both of the matches.
ICC Trophy was held in Kenya in the year of 1994. Kenya in this, finished as runners-up to the UAE and hence qualified for the 1996 World Cup of Cricket. Kenya then played against India at home in the year 1995 and then went on a tour to South Africa. They practiced a lot before participating in the World Cup. Kenya was in the same group of Australia, Sri Lanka, India and West Indies. Kenya created a huge upset in the history of the Cricket by bowling out West Indies for just 93 runs and won the match by 73 runs. Kenya then came into picture and rest of teams started considering this team as a good fighter and winner.
Status and Winning performance
Following their stunning World Cup performance, Kenya were given full ODI status by the International Cricket Council and therefore, hosted a quadrangular tournament against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa in September/October in the year 1996. Kenya continued their marvelous performance as the Netherlands toured in December and were beaten by Kenya all the four One Day Internationals. Kenya continued to be in form and though they got lost against South Africa in 2003 World Cup. Kenya defeated Canada and the team did enough to qualify for the Super Six stage. Kenya further beat Zimbabwe by seven wicket creating an upset.