New league will draw the cream of HK players
In a bid 'to try to deliver a better standard', the Hong Kong Cricket Association has introduced a Super League - played over two days and solely on the turf wickets of the two established clubs.
Once a month the cream of Hong Kong talent will forsake playing in the traditional Saturday and Sunday Leagues to play for one of four teams in the Super League. The teams are Hong Kong Cricket Club, Kowloon Cricket Club, Independents Blue and Independents Green.
'We want to give players the chance to spend more time at the wicket in both batting and bowling,' said new HKCA chairman Darren Tucker. The move was initiated by Hong Kong coach Aftab Habib.
'Batsmen will get the chance to build an innings while the bowlers can bowl longer spells. Hopefully the standards will improve,' Tucker said.
Habib, who masterminded Hong Kong's run to clinch the ACC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur last month, had suggested that if the top players were to improve, especially in batting, they needed to spend more time on turf wickets.
'It is a good start. The two-day games will prepare us mentally for batting longer,' said Hong Kong captain Tabarak Dar, who will lead one of the independent sides.
While the two clubs will draw players from within their memberships, a 30-35 strong squad of independents will be split into the other two teams. Dar, who captains Little Sai Wan, will lead the Blues while Pakistan Association skipper Ilyas Gull will skipper the Greens.
National team players who don't represent either the KCC or the HKCC, will be shared between the other two sides.
Although the matches will be of a two-day duration, there will be a restriction on the number of overs. The first innings will be limited to 60 overs per side while the second innings will be 40 overs.
The season will begin next weekend - KCC meeting the Blues and HKCC facing the Greens.
Super clubs that will take part in the Super League: 4