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Kenya want to win for Tikolo: Kamande

Sat, Mar 19, 2011 10:54 PM

Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande has said his team are keen to win Sunday's match against Zimbabwe for veteran Steve Tikolo, who will be making his last World Cup appearance.

"We call him 'Gunnzie' (one who bats like a gun)," the Kenyan skipper said on the eve of his team's last World Cup match at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.

"He (Tikolo) is a legend. He is the man actually who made me play one-day international cricket and he is the one who made us qualify for the first time in the 1996 World Cup."

"I remember watching him play in the qualifiers in 1995 and we owe a lot to the guy. Hopefully, we will send him off with a win."

All-rounder Tikolo, 39, has so far scored 3,411 runs with three hundreds and 24 half-centuries and taken 94 wickets with his off-spin in 133 one-day internationals.

He has figured in five World Cups but Sunday's match against Zimbabwe will be his last.

Tikolo was part of the Kenyan team which pulled off an upset win over the West Indies in a 1996 World Cup match at Pune in India and the 2003 side which qualified for the semi-finals at the 2003 edition in South Africa.

Both the African nations are out of contention for a place in the quarter-finals, with Zimbabwe having earned just two points and Kenya none after five matches.

The Kenyan skipper said he was disappointed over his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting's remarks that the World Cup was not an event for Associate members.

"What is disappointing is that someone like Ricky Ponting saying that Associates don't need to be here (in the World Cup)," said Kamande.

"We need to keep improving and all we need to do is to play good cricket."

Ponting said last month the mega one-day event would be a better tournament if the smaller nations were excluded, but also acknowledged the need to grow the game around the world.

"We understand the responsibility to keep the game growing. For that, you need to bring on some of these small nations into the world of cricket. We want to see the game develop and blossom around the world," Ponting said.

"I have always been unsure if the World Cups and the Champions Trophy are the right place to do that. And I am not sure as to how much the teams actually learn when they get hammered in these contests."

"At the end of the day, it would probably be a better tournament if there were fewer teams. The World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport."

The next World Cup in 2015 will feature just 10 teams, down from the current 14, meaning it will almost certainly be the preserve of the Test sides and the minnows of the world game will miss out.

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