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Kenya Test status bid may gain momentum

Johannesburg, March 22 (PTI): Impressed with Kenya’s fine performance in the World Cup, the ICC decided Saturday to expedite their application for Test status.

Kenya, which became the first non-Test playing country to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, can be considered for Test status in 2005, one year before it was scheduled, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said after a two-day executive board meeting.

“It was proposed by ICC that it will work with Kenya to develop a strategic plan, which included putting a mechanism in place to expose them to a longer version of cricket,” Speed said.

The cash-strapped Kenyan cricket will also benefit from a guaranteed amount of $500,000 each year for development of infrastructure while more first-class matches will be arranged for the team to prepare it for the big league, Speed said.

Tumultuous welcome

In Nairobi, dancers, acrobats, beauty queens and thousands of fans welcomed the Kenya team back from the World Cup, adds another report.

Supporters packed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and lined the streets to cheer the players. The team was accompanied by sports minister Najib Balala to the Kenya Cricket Association headquarters.

“Kenya did not win the World Cup but certainly won many hearts,” he said.

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