Nairobi: The Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) estimates that the east African nation will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars following New Zealand’s refusal to play a World Cup game in the capiatl because of security concerns, officials said Friday.
Sharad Ghai, KCA’s organising secretary, said the loss was calculated in terms of ticket sales and money that would have been spent by fans and tourists. Kenya were supposed to play New Zealand in Nairobi Friday, but the game was cancelled after the Black Caps refused to go to Kenya because of concerns arising from the November 28 terrorist attack.
On Thursday, the ICC turned down New Zealand’s request to have the match switched to South Africa and awarded the Kenyans four points for the game. The Kenyans, though, are hardly celebrating the maximum points and view New Zealand’s decision as an insult to their country.
Kenyan authorities have argued that there are no security problems in the relatively peaceful nation of 30 million.
“We have lost a lot in money and goodwill which is a priceless item nobody can put a value on,” Ghai said. “Tourists would have come, they would have spent money here. We are disappointed.”
KCA chairman Jimmy Rayani said the issue was one of “honour and pride” for Kenya.
Kenya was to have hosted two World Cup games, the other being against Sri Lanka on Monday.
Sri Lanka, who arrived here Thursday, raised no objections to playing in the east African nation which hosted the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy and a tri-series involving Kenya, Pakistan and Australia last August without incident.
Instead of playing New Zealand, the Kenyan team practised at the Nairobi Gymkhana ground where Monday’s match will be played.
Ghai said all but 300 of the 6,000 tickets for the Sri Lankan game had been sold. Tickets were not put on sale for the New Zealand tie because of the confusion over whether the team would play in Nairobi.
Under its arrangement with the World Cup organising committee, the KCA keeps money raised from ticket sales and is supposed to receive 150,000 Rands for each game played in the country.
Rayani said the KCA will now lose money instead of breaking even, as several companies that had booked corporate boxes for the two games have now cancelled their bookings. The KCA had also spent money on security and transport ahead of the New Zealand game. (AP)