Kenya Starts Preparations For 2026 U-19 Cricket World Cup

From Left: Cricket Kenya Development Director Thomas Odoyo, Star Insurance Head of Medical Johari Maluki, Star Insurance Principal Officer John Tomno, Cricket Kenya CEO Ronald Bukusi and Star Insurance Marketing Manager Shashi Roy during sponsorship of U-19 national team ahead of the Tri-Nation cricket tournament in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/JONAH ONYANGO

NAIROBI, Kenya- Kenya has started its preparations for the 2026  U-19 Cricket World Cup. This was announced by Cricket Kenya (CK) in Nairobi on Thursday.

Part of the journey will be to utilise high profile championships like the forthcoming Tri-Nation tournament in Jinja, Uganda on March 27-April 1 as part of the buildup for the World Cup qualifiers.

The Tri-Nation event will be battled by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Star Insurance has come on board to support the yet to be selected U-19 national squad to a tune of Sh4.2 million ahead of the Jinja showpiece.

The U-19 national team selection is already ongoing at the Nairobi Gymkhana.  The trials for the Nairobi area will end on February 23, 2024 while Mombasa and Nakuru will hold their selections next week. From the trials, CK will pick 22 players who will be later trimmed to a final 14 for the Jinja extravaganza.

” We missed this year’s World Cup by a whisker after losing to Namibia. We learnt our lessons, this is the reason we are out to build a formidable squad for our forthcoming Africa Division One qualifiers including the World Cup,” CK Development Director Thomas Odoyo told Standard Sports.

While handing over their sponsorship check, Star Insurance Principal Officer, Jonah Tomno, said they are honoured to partner with CK for the Tri-Nation tournament as sports play a critical role in development of youth structures within our societies.

“As a corporate entity, we feel proud and honoured to help the federation take this game to the next level. We all know sports play a big role in the employment sector, especially to a developing nation like ours,” Tomno stated.

Johari Maluki, Head of Medical at the Star Insurance said they believe in the potential of the youths, adding that young people have the capacity to rise if supported well in sports.

Former Kenya U19 cricket captain Vishil Patel. PHOTO/ ICC

” We are proud to be part of this deal, our organisations coming together to work in unity is a great step in the right direction,” stated Johari.

The CK Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Bukusi said the support from the insurance firm will go a long way in helping the federation to identify good players who will be vital for Kenya’s World Cup quest.

” The early preparations will help us rebuild a solid youth system with a variety of players for our future tournaments. We are confident the Uganda tour will generate a lot of excitement among the youngsters, and this will inspire them to play even better and harder,” highlighted Bukusi.

“We are open for support from the corporates, we challenge other firms to follow this kind gesture that has been extended to us by the Star Insurance who have come on board,” Bukusi added.

Players still eligible to play for Kenya from the old U-19 squad

1. Yash Gohil

2. Stian Smith

3. Neel Doshi

4. Yuvraj Bhatyani

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