Reeve to lead from the field
By NAZVI CAREEM
DERMOT Reeve will lead a Hong Kong Cricket Association President's XI to face the powerful Air India side in a friendly match on Monday.
Hong Kong-born England Test player Reeve is coaching the national squad in readiness for February's ICC World Cup in Kenya.
Hong Kong named two strong squads to face Air India in two matches on Saturday and Sunday, but Reeve will lead the invitational side which has yet to be picked.
Skipper Pat Fordham and vice-captain Steve Atkinson are two of seven players who will play in both internationals. Stewart Brew, Riaz Farcy, Ravi Sujanani, David Cross and Bharat Gohel are the others.
The Butani Cup and Plate, which were previously awarded to the winners of the Saturday League knockout competitions, will be up for grabs.
Kowloon jeweller and cricket fan Papu Butani supported the Saturday League knockout events for a few years, but this season's competition will be sponsored by Dragonair.
The Butani Cup will therefore go to the winners of the two-match series to be held on Saturday, at the Hong Kong Cricket Club and Sunday, at the Kowloon Cricket Club.
Air India played three matches in the territory last January and dominated the Hong Kong teams with their mesmerising spin bowlers and slick fielding.
The squad, who return with many of the players who first came to the territory, meet Reeve's side on Monday for the Butani Plate.
Air India will open their tour of Hong Kong on Friday with a match against a Butani Invitational XI at Mission Road.
Hong Kong (Saturday team): Pat Fordham (captain), Steve Atkinson (vice-captain), Stewart Brew, Riaz Farcy, Ravi Sujanani, David Cross, Bharat Gohel, Yarman Vachha, Paul Cresswell, Mark Eames, Leigh Beaman, 12th man David Crowe.
Hong Kong (Sunday team): Pat Fordham (captain), Steve Atkinson (vice-captain), Stewart Brew, Riaz Farcy, Ravi Sujanani, David Cross, Bharat Gohel, John Garden, Justin Strachan, Tim Davies, Jon Orders, 12th man Matthew Johnson.
Air India: Nandan Phadnis, Rajesh Sanil, Satish Samant, Piyush Soneji, Sachin Kohli, Sandesh Kawle, Vikrant Puntambekar, Asuthosh Dube, Sanjeev Jadhav, Pritam Gandhe, Jacob Faroz, D. J. Patil, Pravin R. Bharve, Dilip A. Pinge, S. Joshi, Atul Wassan, A. V. Mankad (coach).