Walking in a World Cup wonderland

by Peter Vickers

Seren Waters, a Geography student from Cuth’s is currently in Sri Lanka representing his native Kenya in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Say what?

At 21, Seren is the youngest member of the Kenyan squad but shoulders the responsibility of opening the batting and so far in the world cup has taken on the fastest bowler on the planet, Shoaib Akhtar, the dangerous Lasith ‘Slinger’ Malinga and Kiwi spin-king, Daniel Vettori, performing admirably in the face of what was actually mortal danger.

In Kenya’s three matches, Seren has only scored 17, 16 and 3 but a wonderful 126* against the Netherlands in their warm-up game has demonstrated Seren’s potential at this level. In Kenya’s remaining games, he will have to show what he’s made of against Australian pace merchants, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson. Let’s just say I’d rather it be him than me.

Seren took the time to give Palatinate a few of his world cup thoughts, “For any young cricketer playing in a world cup is a dream come true and the fact that it is being held in a part of the world where cricket is almost a religion has made it all the more special.”

“Despite our results so far the opportunity to play against the best players in the world has been an unbelievable experience and one which will definitely help me improve as a cricketer. My highlight must be playing against Sri Lanka (in Colombo) in front of an almost full house at the Premadasa Stadium; the atmosphere in the ground was something I shall never forget”.

Whilst the runs are proving hard to come by, Seren provided one of the opening game’s highlights with a breathtaking catch to remove Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan. Fielding at short mid-wicket, Seren dived low to his left but could only parry the ball upwards. As the ball fell and Seren was flat on his back, he somehow managed to majestically catch the ball with one hand, as it was inches above the ground over his shoulder.

Seren was born in Nairobi himself but has lived in Surrey for most of his teenage years, representing them at youth and 2nd XI level. He opens the batting for the Durham University 1st XI and last year scored a sparkling 120 at Lord’s to win the final of the MCC Universities Championship for Durham against Loughborough.

Kenya face an uphill struggle if they are to qualify for the quarter finals, needing to win their last their last three games but with two of them against Canada and Zimbabwe I wouldn’t rule out a few Kenyan-induced upsets, especially if Seren leads the way as we know he can.