Kolkata: Kenya skipper Jimmy Kamande on Saturday criticised his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting for his comments that associate nations don`t deserve to be in the World Cup.
"What is disappointing is that someone like Ricky Ponting saying that associates don`t need to be here (in the World Cup)," Kamande said.
Among the associates, Ireland were the most impressive in the tournament as they shocked England in a 300-plus chase, and ended their campaign on a high with win over the Netherlands in another big chase yesterday.
Kenya have lost five matches on the trot but, in their last match against three-time defending champions Australia, they put up a respectable 264 for six chasing 325.
But the Australian skipper was not convinced and had remarked, "I am still a believer that it (the World Cup) should be a place only for the best eight or ten teams. I think what we`ve got at the moment is probably a couple too many."
Kamande, however, said they were making steps towards improvement.
"We put up a good performance against Australia. Batting against Australia for a full 50 overs was one of the positives. They did not outplay us that much, but at the end of the day, they played better cricket than us and came out winner.”
"But I would not say it was a perfect day for us because at the end of the day, we lost the game. We had a good match against Australia, four games before that we did not show anything that we had.”
"What matters now is what we take from here. Hopefully, after this World Cup, we will go up rather than going down. If we keep growing, we will be happy with."
The skipper admitted that they suffered a collective batting failure, but praised middle-order batsman Collins Obuya for his unbeaten 98 against the Aussies.
"Growing from the first game the most important thing. Collins played well throughout the tournament, without asking he has done that for us. Hopefully, he gets a big one tomorrow, and improves on his performance," Kamande said.
On their match against Zimbabwe, he said, "It doesn`t matter who we play, we want to win. It will be a different side, different attack, different batsmen, different strategies that we will need. It is an important match for us, we want to win and get those two points."
Asked about cricket`s progress in his country, he said: "This World Cup is the beginning of the next step that we take. We don`t want to be at a level and then slump down. We want to come out of this tournament and keep going up.”
"We want to go out there and enjoy our cricket, never mind that it may be the last time we play in the World Cup."