Brothers' party antics hit HK selections

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2007, 12:00am

Ahmeds out of Sixes and Twenty20

Talented teenage brothers Nadeem and Irfan Ahmed have been banned from all forms of cricket for the next couple of months and will miss out on playing in next month's Hong Kong International Sixes and the ACC Twenty20 tournament in Kuwait.

The Ahmed brothers are among a group of five Hong Kong Under-19 players who have been penalised in varying degrees by the Hong Kong Cricket Association's match and disciplinary committee (MDC) for breaking the local game's code of conduct during the ACC U-19 tournament last month.

It is believed the five players had gone on several 'boys' nights out' in Kuala Lumpur before crucial games during the tournament, which was also a qualifying event for the Under-19 World Cup. Hong Kong failed to qualify.

'Nadeem and Irfan were both unavailable for selection as they have been banned by the MDC,' said the chairman of selectors Krish Kumar who yesterday announced a 29-strong squad for both the Hong Kong Sixes as well as the inaugural ACC Twenty20.

Left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed, 19, was banned from local as well as international duty until the end of November.

Dashing all-rounder Irfan, 17, was banned until the end of October. They both turn out for Little Sai Wan in the local league.

With the Hong Kong Sixes and the ACC Twenty20 clashing - October 27-28 - Irfan and Nadeem will miss out.

They have been crucial members of the senior squad for the past couple of years.

The other three players to be disciplined are Inderjit Singh (who plays for Pakistan Association in the Sunday League), Shakeel Huq (Little Sai Wan) and Sajjid Khan (Sri Lanka CC). The latter has been banned until March next year while the other two will be barred from playing until the end of October.

All five players have seven days to appeal against their ban. The Ahmed brothers are expected to appeal to the HKCA chairman Clive Howard to lift the sanctions.

The absence of Nadeem and Irfan Ahmed from the Hong Kong squad will have some repercussions, especially with selectors forced to pick two different teams in light of both tournaments coinciding.

'They can make a difference to the team, especially Irfan, who is a gifted all-rounder,' said Tabarak Dar who yesterday was named as captain of the Twenty20 side.

Dar, who has been a part of Hong Kong teams for the past 10 years, will take over the captaincy from Ilyas Gull who has been ignored for both versions of the game.

'Tabarak has lead Little Sai Wan Team successfully for the last few years and the selection committee felt he would be the ideal candidate as captain for this particular format of the game, said Kumar.

The selectors announced a squad of 29 players, from which they will pick both the Sixes squad (seven players) as well as the Twenty20 squad (14-strong, plus four non-travelling reserves).