The 42-year-old Steve Tikolo has come out of international retirement after being recalled to the Kenya squad for the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE more than two-and-a-half years after he last played for the country.
Tikolo’s previous appearance came in the 2011 World Cup, when he faced Zimbabwe in Kolkata, and at the time he said that was the end of his international career that included 134 ODIs and 11 T20s. Since then he has only appeared in a joint Kenya-Uganda domestic structure for Rwenzori Warriors where he has also been coaching.
However, in a further sign of the regression in Kenya cricket, he has been brought back into the fold alongside 35-year-old Thomas Odoyo who also previously played an international during the last World Cup and has not played a Twenty20 international since 2008.
Both Tikolo and Odoyo made their debuts at the 1996 World Cup during which Kenya famously beat West Indies. They also took part in the 1999 event in England then helped Kenya to the high point of their cricket history when they reached the semi-finals of the 2003 tournament in South Africa. Since then, however, the organisation and success of the sport has plummeted despite qualification for the next two World Cups.
Kenya have only qualified for one World Twenty20 tournament, the inaugural competition in South Africa during 2007. Last month they registered the lowest T20 international total of 56 when they were skittled by Afghanistan in Sharjah. Their preparation for the Qualifiers will include a seven-match series in Sri Lanka against the country’s A team which includes Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, and Jeevan Mendis.
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