Young guns, veterans in Sixes field

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 12:00am

Australia and Sri Lanka will take different approaches to winning the Karp Group/PC Jeweller Hong Kong Sixes at the Kowloon Cricket Club next month.

While the Australians will rely on a side packed with young guns to win their first Cup Championship, Sri Lanka have opted for a group of seasoned veterans to lead them to victory.

Australia, coached by former international John Davison, will field a team with an average age of 22, including Ryan Carters, 20, Tom Cooper, 23, and Glenn Maxwell, 21, who all played in the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa last month.

'Although we have a pretty young squad, we have some players with international experience or exposure so I'm sure that will hold them in good stead,' said Davison, who is also senior coach with Cricket Australia's Centre for Excellence.

'The tournament is short and sweet but it's a challenging format that most players have probably not played before so it should be good fun for them,' Davison added.

Familiarity, or rather the lack of it, will not be a problem for Sri Lanka. They return with a squad who have all played here before and are well-versed with the shortest form of the game.

The islanders will include four players from the squad who beat Shane Warne's All-Stars in 2007, including skipper Jeewantha Kulatunga, vice-captain Indika de Saram, Kaushalya Weeraratne and Dilhara Lokuhettige.

'It is good to see Sri Lanka are returning with a team full of Sixes veterans which shows they are really serious about winning again,' Hong Kong Cricket Association president Shahzada Saleem Ahmed said. 'And you can never discount Australia, especially in cricket and I'm sure their young side will surprise many.'

Sri Lanka are drawn in the US$150,000 tournament with India, Pakistan and New Zealand in the preliminary Sobers group, while the Bradman group comprises defending champions South Africa, England, Australia and Hong Kong.

Tickets for the November 6-7 tournament are on sale at the Hong Kong Cricket Club and KCC.

Australia: Tim Armstrong (New South Wales), Ryan Carters (Victoria), Dan Christian (South Australia), Tom Cooper (South Australia), Matthew Johnston (Western Australia), Glenn Maxwell (Victoria), Will Sheridan (Victoria).

Sri Lanka: Jeewan Kulatunga, Indika de Saram, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Chintaka Jayasinghe, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Dilruwan Perera, Kosala Kulasekera.