National Under-19 Cricket team that qualified for the International Cricket Council (ICC) 2018 Under-19 World Cup has been shortlisted for the Team of the Year at the 2017 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya).
The young cricketers will battle out with Gor Mahia, Gor, who won the Kenya Premier League with four matches to spare, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Rugby team, who won both Kenya Cup, Enterprise Cup and Impala Floodlit titles.
Also in contention are Kenya Police hockey team and the Strathmore University handball team in the men’s Sports Team of the Year, where the winner will be declared during the Soya Award Gala due January 17 next year at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
The Under-19 cricket team historic qualification put Kenya on the world map once again for a country that was once cricketing powerhouse but now struggling to reclaim its lost glory.
Kenyans put up an electrifying show to beat Uganda by seven wickets and within the required overs and qualify for the World Cup planned for January in New Zealand.
The Kenyans had lost to Uganda in the first round and many had written them off and tipped the Ugandan side to get the ticket. The team also whitewashed Ghana and Botswana in the qualifiers.
Gor Mahia fondly known as K’Ogalo were also victorious at the inaugural SportPesa Super Cup, where they beat rivals AFC Leopards 3-0 in the final in Dar es salaam, Tanzania and book a date with English Premier League side Everton in an international friendly match that they lost 2-1.
KCB Rugby had a successful season after winning all the three major rugby 15s titles; Kenya Cup, regional Enterprise Cup and Impala Floodlit under coach Curtis Olago.
They claimed their fifth Kenya Cup victory after beating champions Kabras Sugar 36-8 in the final before claiming their sixth Enterprise Cup title when they rallied from 0-10 down to silence Kabras Sugar 27-23.
The Bankers went for their fifth Impala Floodlit title, beating Impala Saracens 18-17 in the final.
KCB also produced the highest number of players (13) to the Kenya Simbas team that won the Elgon Cup and finished second in Rugby Africa Gold Cup besides taking part in Hong Kong Cup of Nations.
Kenya Police team bagged continental silver after losing to Egypt's Eastern Company 3-2 in penalty shootout in the men's final of the Africa Cup for Club Championships.
Strathmore University handball team were crowned the Regional (EA) University Champions, lifted the National University title, won the National Super Cup and finished runners up in the National League.
Men’s Sport Team of the Year
1. Gor Mahia
2. KCB RFC
3. Kenya U19 Cricket team
4. Strathmore Handball team
5. Kenya Police Hockey team