Pace attack gives depth to ICC squad
By ALVIN SALLAY
SPEED thrills . . . and Hong Kong selectors are also hoping that it will kill off the opposition at the 1994 International Cricket Council Trophy's mini-World Cup in Kenya from February 12 to March 6.
A 16-member squad, peppered with pacemen, was named last night. It was a conscious decision, as selectors remembered the Netherlands, when Hong Kong failed to qualify and fared poorly with a side laden with four spinners.
''No doubt about it. This is a different side with more depth and greater strength,'' said chairman of selectors, Rod Eddington.
And where does the strength mainly lie? ''In our medium pacers. Unlike 1990, we are this time relying on our fast men,'' he added.
Paul Cresswell, Leigh Beaman, Riaz Farcy, Tim Davies, David Cross, Glyn Davies, Justin Strachan and Ross Greer - half the side - are all players who can bowl fast or medium fast.
The slow bowler tag will be worn by Templars veteran Yarman Vaccha. The right-arm, off-spinner is one of three players surviving from the 1990 squad - the others being Infidels pair Glyn Davies and Ray Brewster.
Eddington also pointed out that Hong Kong were fortunate to have more players eligible this time around.
''In 1990, seven of this current squad failed to qualify because they had not been in the territory for four years,'' he said.
Among them are captain Pat Fordham and vice-captain Steve Atkinson, plus exciting strokemaker Stewart Brew and pace bowler Farcy.
The selectors also picked four reserves plus four more back-up reserves.
Players who were labelled certainties, but were unavailable according to Eddington were Steve Foster, David Brettell and David Thomas.
''All in all, this is a far better side than that of 1990. We have a lot of talent around and I think we can do well,'' added Eddington.
England one-day specialist, Dermot Reeve, will take charge of the squad later this month.
Squad: Pat Fordham (capt, Templars), Steve Atkinson (vice-captain, Templars), Stewart Brew (Optimists), John Garden (Vagabonds), Ray Brewster (Infidels), Riaz Farcy (LSW), Leigh Beaman (Optimists), Glyn Davies (Infidels), Yarman Vaccha (Templars), David Cross (Vagabonds), Mark Eames (Infidels), Justin Strachan (Optimists), Ross Greer (Vagabonds), Jonathan Orders (Scorpions), Paul Cresswell (Templars), Tim Davies (Scorpions). Reserves: David Crowe (Wanderers), Bharat Gohel (Templars), Mathew Johnson (Scorpions), Nigel Stearns (Infidels). Back-up reserves: Paul Barker (Scorpions), Mike Swift (Wanderers), Tarun Sawney (Police), Ravi Sujanani (Templars).