Cricket was introduced to Kenya by the colonial settlers and was first played in Mombasa. The first match of consequence took place in 1899. In 1910, a three-day fixture between officials and settlers started, and was the highlight of the domestic calendar until 1964.
The first international took place in 1951 when Kenya played Tanzania. In 1953, the Kenyan Cricket Association was formed, the colony’s first inter-racial organisation, although it was dominated by Asians.
ln the 1950s, most wickets were mats of jute rather than coconut-fibre to reduce the bounce above concrete or impacted gravel. Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda formed the East Africa Cricket Team, which became an associate member of the 1CC in 1966. Zambia joined in a quadrangular tournament played annually between 1966 and 1980.
The 1975 World Cup took place in England and East Africa was one of two non-test teams invited to the tournament – the other was Sri Lanka. Kenya provided half of the 14-man squad for the tournament.
The unit again appeared in the inaugural 1979 ICC Trophy. After warm – up matches against Somerset, Wales, Glamorgan and various clubs, the team played in the same first round group as cricket greats England, India and New Zealand. Kenya broke away from the East African team in 1981 and joined the ICC as an associate member. It played two three-day matches against Zimbabwe but lost. Kenya played in the ICC Trophy in 1982, 1986 and 1990.