In many ways it was sad to see Kenya depart for Nairobi. Their cricket wasn’t up to it but they confirmed their status as the worlds gentleman players and they made many friends.
Their last game was in Paarl where Indians made up for their faux pas a week earlier with a crushing victory by 186 runs. Hard as the Kenyan bowlers toiled, they simply couldn’t stop being belted through the covers by Sachin Tendulkar and hoisted all over the place by Saurav Ganguly.
When the worlds cricketing babies came to bat, chasing 352 for victory, the innings was boring to watch and probably pretty dull to participate in, as batsmen, bowlers and fielders. It was certainly not much fun to commentate on.
One very well known (and popular) South African commentator strolled into the makeshift press area and began to read over one of the newspaper men’s shoulders at his laptop screen.
“What do you want?” snarled the grumpy hack. “I want to see if I can do your job so you can do mine and commentate on the last half hour,” replied the desperate commentator as the match entered its pathetic last few overs.
“Oh, very funny,” shot back the writer. “If you want a change of jobs then go and bowl for India – you’d do a better job of getting the Kenyans out than these guys, even at your age.”
All of which got us talking. How would a commentators XI have fared against the Kenyans? We’re not talking about the commentators in their prime, but how they were then, on that very night in Paarl. If they had played a match 48 hours later, who would have won?
It may have been very harsh, it may have been optimistic and it may have been unrealistic, but with the advantage of experience overcoming age and lack of physical fitness, the overwhelming consensus of opinion was that the commentators XI would have won. And the consensus was amongst the commentators, not the hacks. Ridiculous? Maybe, but a fair comment on the quality of the Kenyan XI. They have a long way to go.
1. G. Boycott
4. R.Shastri *
8. D.Richardson +
9. G.de Kock
10. G. le Roux
12th man – T.Quirk
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.