The Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) League is set to continue this Sunday with Clubs in both Super and Division One tiers having to go ahead with their respective matches without their full-strength squads.
With the Cricket Kenya Normalization Committee (CKNC) assembled team in Uganda for a series of matches against the hosts and Nigeria, key players from the Super League and two Division I Clubs will be missing for at least two matches.
Below are the list of names that will be out of action for the two matches for their respective clubs and their impact:
Kanbis Sports Club ‘A’
The defending super league champions are set to miss two players as they play away to Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’ this Sunday and Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’ next weekend at Nairobi Jaffery Sports Club and Sikh Union Sports Club, respectively.
Despite attracting the highest number of invitations for the provisional squad residential camp, Nelson Odhiambo Mandela and Emmanuel Bundi are the only Kanbis players who showed up for the entire duration of the practice matches and subsequently got drafted in the travelling team while Pushpak Kerai showed up but pulled out at the last minute due to work commitments.
Former skipper Rakep Patel, top order batsman Dhiren Gondaria and paceman and former U – 19 skipper Sachin Bhudia snubbed their invitation into the team due to personal reasons, including work and family commitments.
Swamibapa Sports Club ‘A’
The fast bowling duo of Nehemiah Odhiambo and Peter Koech alongside skipper and top order batsman Rushab Patel will be missing Swamibapa’s home match against Kanbis and away fixture at Lenana School to Obuya Cricket Academy.
The three were among the four players from the third – placed team to have been included in the 31 – man squad that was called up to assemble on Thursday last week alongside James Ngoche.
With the invite, Ngoche who is currently fourth on the table amongst spinners – Shem Ngoche, Vraj Patel and Mikunj Pindolia – in the League was hoping to make a comeback in international cricket, having been out of action for six years.
Ngoche was suspended from bowling in international cricket after the International Cricket Council (ICC) deemed his bowling action illegal in July 2015. He risks being banned if called out for the same again.
However, Swamis may do just fine with two of their overseas players arriving into the League with pomp last weekend, including Rakesh Kahar who scored a match winning ton on debut.
Stray Lions Sports Club ‘A’
The current Super League leaders will be hosting Sikh Union on Sunday without fiery opener Alex Obanda and national team skipper Shem Ngoche who sits atop the bowling rankings with 23 wickets from 8 innings.
Obanda and Ngoche were the only two players from the Peponi School -based side to have won the selectors’ confidence.
Youngster Gerald Mwendwa failed to impress the selectors after three days of training and will be a boost to his club in its home match this Sunday and next weekend’s match against Ruaraka. Mwendwa will be upbeat especially with the role he played last weekend in a vital unbeaten partnership that helped Stray Lions’ beat rivals Kanbis, only barely.
Sir Ali Muslim Club ‘A’
Skipper Gurdeep Singh, seamer Eugene Maneno and all – rounder Zahid Abbas will be the absentees of the Park Road side as they seek to solidify their chase for a top finish with home matches against Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’ and Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj ‘A’.
While Singh and Maneno are making a return into the senior national side, Abbas is making his debut after years of snubs backed up by brilliant performances.
Nairobi Gymkhana Sports Club ‘A’
Bottom placed Nairobi Gymkhana ‘A’ will be without dependable all – rounder Dominic Wesonga and opening bowler Lucas Ndandason as they try to come out of the relegation red list with away matches to Samaj ‘A’ and Ngara Sports Club ‘A’.
With only one win under their belt, Gymkhana will be scratching their heads as the deficit they suffered against Sir Ali due to scoring technicalities continues to haunt them with an inferior run rate against the next three who have also bagged solitary wins.
Ruaraka Sports Club ‘A’
After playing only four matches including two since his return from sick leave, pacer Elijah Asoyo is set to miss more matches for the Thika Road side after having made it back to the senior men’s team.
Having missed the three matches that his side won back to back due to an illness that saw him spend over two weeks in hospital, Ruaraka will remain largely unaffected by his absence especially with the addition of two more overseas players including Sachin Gill who is a pace bowling all – rounder. Gill picked two wickets and scored a half century on debut against Ngara last weekend.
Ruaraka host Sir Ali in their final round one of matches as well as Stray Lions in the return leg the following week.
Sikh Union Sports Club ‘A’
Sikh Union will only miss the services of Muhammad Kalyan who was a last minute inclusion in the team after Tanzeel Sheikh pulled out of the travelling squad due to unavoidable school engagements. The experienced all – rounder’s absence will be a big blow as they gear up for tough fixtures away to Stray Lions and at home with Kanbis.
The side will find solace walking into the weekend, having bagged their first win against Nairobi Gymkhana last weekend and three overseas players who have already deemed themselves threatening with both bat and ball.
Ngara Sports Club ‘A‘
Vraj Patel’s impact with the ball has been the key for Ngara’s fortunes in the league so far and his absence in their match against Obuya Cricket Academy and Nairobi Gymkhana is a big blow to the South C side. The left arm orthodox spinner has pulled Ngara back with two five-fers and a four-fer in just seven innings played.
Patel’s absence further compounds the 100% home-grown Club’s troubles with the absence of hard hitting Nikul Patel who will re-join his side midway through the second round of matches.
On the upside, Mehul Patel is back after missing out on a couple of matches and will hopefully inject some life in the middle.
Obuya Cricket Academy (O.C.A)
With former national team skipper Collins Obuya having pulled out of the team hours after being named, O.C.A will only be without two players when they host Ngara and Swamibapa.
With David Obuya as head of the team and Steve Odhiambo drafted in the travelling party, the Lenana – based side was set to miss three of their key players but Collins pulling one back is a blessing for the eighth placed side.
In Division I, Nairobi Jaffery Sports Club and Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club ‘A’ will be without their wicket keeper – opening batters Irfan Karim and Brian Likavu, respectively.
Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) ‘A’
Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj (SCLPS) ‘A’ is the only Super League side that remains intact, none of their players have been invited to camp. Hopefully, the team takes advantage of the situation to cause an upset with its full-strength squad intact. Samaj have registered two wins so far against Sir Ali and Sikh Union.