TCA ropes in Tikolo as national cricket team coach

13Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
TCA ropes in Tikolo as national cricket team coach

​​​​​​​SENIOR national cricket squad’s preparations for the ICC Africa T20 competition, which will be played in Nairobi in March, have got a boost as the Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA) has roped in Kenyan coach, Steve Tikolo, as the squad’s head coach.

Newly appointed Tanzania’s national cricket team’s coach Steve Tikolo.

The TCA chairman, Premji Pindoria, disclosed Tikolo, who has a two-year contract with the association, will oversee the senior national men’s team preparation for and participation in the Africa T20 tournament slated for March 20-18 in Nairobi.

Hosts, Kenya, and Uganda will also be looking for top honours in the showdown.

Pindoria noted he is confident Tanzania will excel in major international assignments given Tikolo is not only a well experienced coach, but also has played cricket in the World Cup, representing his country well.

Tikolo will, among other major assignments, coach the national Under-19 team to shape up for the African tournament to be played in Uganda in dates to be announced.

Tikolo pointed out his ambition during his two-year coaching career is to see to it Tanzania qualifies for the World Cup.

The decorated former Kenya senior national team’s player said that Tanzania has hugely talented players who lack some technical aspects from a qualified coach to help the country excel in ICC World Cup Qualifiers and African tournaments, among others.

Lack of an international exposure, according to him, is also one of reasons which have brought about Tanzania’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.

He pointed out that Kenya boasts of best cricket records, among others playing against World cricket big guns, West Indies.

The five-time World Cup player Kenya senior national team said that he will work collectively with TCA development officers and other stakeholders to make sure that Tanzania starts to see changes at least after either six months or a year once he takes charge.

“I may not predict for the future, because qualifying for the World Cup is a progress (pathway) from which we need to make our plans and investments for the youth,” Tikolo, who took Uganda to the World Cup during his tenure, disclosed.

Tikolo said Tanzania is like a second home to him, having visited several times for playing cricket.

“I last came to Tanzania during the 2000’s when I came to play in the Advanced Players League (APL), it is therefore my pleasure to be Tanzania’s national team coach,” Tikolo said.

Tikolo (born in 1971) headed Uganda in several International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments including the World Cup.

He was widely regarded as the greatest Kenyan cricketer ever, he had scored the most runs and taken the second most wickets for the Kenya’s national team in One Day International matches (ODI’s).

He made his ODI debut in 1996 against India by the time he had played 11 caps for Kenyan teams. His last ODI was against Canada in 1993.

Pindoria, said that Tikolo was most needed because of his experience, success and exposure.

“We kindly welcome him in Tanzania and great pleasure to work with him,” the official said.

Shaheed Dhanan, TCA vice-chairman, disclosed; ‘’I played cricket for over a decade as a national team player and always dream of playing in his level.”

Tanzania has for years been taking part in major continental and ICC qualifying series, but performed poorly, prompting the new TCA leadership to look for a qualified coach to open a new chapter.