Odumbe: Why I’ve contemplated suicide
The Kenya cricket team batting coach Maurice Odumbe says he is being treated as an outcast by the Kenya Cricket Association(KCA) and claimed the situation has sometimes pushed him on the brink of committing suicide.
The former captain who was appointed as the batting coach for the national team has never travelled with the national team for the test matches since assuming the position.
“During the latest trip to South Africa I was dropped at the 11th hour with repeated claims that if I went then the team might not win,”he claimed.
In an exclusive ‘breakfast’ interview on Monday with Hot96 hosts Jeff and Jalas , Odumbe, who was named man of the match in Kenya’s famous victory over West Indies at Pune in 1996 urged the national body to respect his role in the team.
“Sometimes I contemplate suicide because I gave my best to this country during my heyday. They’re frustrating me and this is really depressing,” he said.
In 2004, Odumbe was suspended from cricket for five years after being found guilty of receiving money from a bookmaker to fix a match though he claims his innocence to date.
The soft spoken and eloquent legend was one of Kenya’s genuinely world class players, an all-rounder who could hold his own in the side as either an aggressive middle-order batsman or strikingly accurate offspinner.
“The team is doing well .The batting has improved but I was told am disruptive, I don’t know how,” he added.
Since making his debut for Kenya in 1990, he was an automatic choice until his career hit a dead-end when he was slapped with a five-year ban after being found guilty of associating with a bookmaker.
“Sometimes I wish I had gone to school, which am planning to do, because I feel betrayed. It’s too painful to see myself in this state. If I was not patriotic I would have changed my citizenship long time ago because I had many chances to do so but I love my country that’s why I chose to stay,” the former captain stated.
Odumbe’s sad and painful tale evokes the now too common stories of sports legends who were once adored at their prime but now live in squalor after the fall from grace.
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