SAR out to avenge Malaysia defeat

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 December, 1998, 12:00am

Hong Kong will be attempting to exorcise the ghost of their Asian Cricket Council Trophy debacle against Malaysia when the Tuanku Ja'afar Cup gets under way today.

Hong Kong launch the defence of the four-team South East Asian Championship title with an intriguing opener against a Hong Kong President's XI at the Kowloon Cricket Club, while Singapore face Malaysia at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

The President's XI, a best-of-the-rest Hong Kong team, were drafted into the tournament in place of Thailand, who withdrew for financial reasons earlier this season.

Although points will not be up for grabs for matches involving the President's XI, it will be no holds barred when the select side take on Stewart Brew's team today.

'Points aren't at stake and it gives us a chance to experiment. But by the same token, it's a game that neither side will want to lose . . . we don't want to be knocked off and vice-versa,' said Brew.

Brew said Hong Kong wanted to make amends for their ACC Trophy defeat against the Malaysians.

'Yes, that is something we are hoping to do. We want to put the record straight,' Brew said.

It will not be easy, Brew warned. 'I don't doubt we are the better side but in one-day cricket anything can happen. Singapore are also a side to be respected,' he added.

The President's XI is being captained by Brew's teammate at Optimists, Richard Nuttall.

Nuttall, who captained Hong Kong in the 1991 Tuanku Ja'afar and lived and played in Malaysia for three years, said his side were itching to claim one of the national teams' scalps.

'It's an opportunity for me to meet old friends and it's also an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of Hong Kong League Cricket. We intend to give the national teams a run for their money,' Nuttall said.

The four teams will play in a round-robin format, with the top two sides contesting Sunday's final.