Dar sings praises of Super League
Hong Kong captain Tabarak Dar hopes the new Super League, which ushers in the 2008-09 season today, will provide the balm to soothe the batting headaches facing the national team on the world stage.
The two-day, two-innings-per-side Super League will give batsmen - and bowlers - a longer stint at the wicket. And Dar is confident it will go a long way towards helping the players iron out problems.
'Playing more overs will give batsmen more chances to go out and build an innings. And with no restrictions on the number of overs a bowler can bowl, it will also mean batsmen will be facing better quality bowling for longer periods,' Dar said.
Four teams - Hong Kong Cricket Club (captained by Phil Pemberton), Kowloon Cricket Club (Damian Kelleher), Independents Blue (Dar) and Independents Green (Ilyas Gull) - will comprise the Super League. Each team will play three matches during the season.
The idea is to 'deliver a better standard' to the local game and hope it is transferred to the national side, says Darren Tucker, chairman of the Hong Kong Cricket Association,
Dar said: 'We rarely play two-day matches at club level. The last time we were involved in the longer version was as a national side when Hong Kong played in the three-day ACC fast-track tournament a few years ago.
'We discovered that our performance, especially our batting, improved in the one-day games after we played in that tournament. Although we only have a handful of Super League matches, it will hopefully benefit all of us.'
Although the matches will be of a two-day duration, there will still 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. But if a team fails to utilise their allotted overs, the remaining overs will be given to their opponents.
'Sixty overs is still more than the 50 we play in the Sunday League. And the fact we have two innings will change the entire mindset,' added Dar.
HKCC host Independents Green, while the Blues meet KCC on their home turf today. The Super League finishes in late January.