TANZANIA Cricket Association (TCA) has announced Steve Tikolo as the new national team Head Coach and the former Kenyan international has promised to pull from his experience and help uplift the standard of the sport in Tanzania.
He also promised to work closely with the TCA leadership and all other cricket stakeholders in the country to help build a strong national team squad that will represent Tanzania in regional and world competitions.
Tikolo’s immediate mission is to see Tanzania wage a successful campaign in the 2020–21 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier between March and September 2020.
This tournament is scheduled to be played as part of qualification process for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
The Africa Qualifier will have two sub-regional groups, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the Regional final.
Kenya and Nigeria, the two highest ranked teams as of 1 January 2020, progressed directly to the Regional final.
Tanzania is placed in group B of the Africa Qualifier tournament that was initially scheduled to take place in Rwanda in June and July 2020, but reports had it that the venue has been changed and organisers will announce the new venue later.
Tikolo is among the greatest Kenyan cricketers in the history and a former One Day International (ODI) captain. He has scored the most runs and taken the second most wickets for the team in ODI’s.
Based on his experience and commitment, Tikolo is sure of achieving his targets of helping Tanzania compete in the World Cup by 2023.
“I have played for my country Kenya and served as a captain. We did well at our time and achieved a number of goals including; qualifying to the Cricket World Cup, register a historical victory against West Indies at Pune and led Kenya to the semi-finals of 2003 Cricket World Cup.”
“Knowing that I have won all these while I was cricketer, then I have the responsibility to achieve all these with Tanzania; my term short plan is to lift Tanzania to level 3 from level two and in three years and take Tanzania to Cricket World Cup,” he said.
With the assistance of development officers, Tikolo will be in charge of youth, women and men senior national teams. Showing his devotion, Tikolo will soon list a provisional squad of 37 players to form the national team.
The squad will then be trimmed to remain with 14 players, who will make the final squad for the 2020–21 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers.
The team will camp at TCA Academy at the Muhimbili Primary School grounds in Dar es Salaam.
Announcing Tikolo’s appointment at the press conference in Dar es Salaam, TCA Chairman Premji Pindoria said that they have picked Tikolo on merits and that the TCA believes his (Tikolo) experience will help energise the national team.