HK hope to create own magic as they take on Bangladesh in opener
Walking into the open-air amphitheatre on Haixinsha Island for the opening ceremony on Friday night is an experience Connie Wong Ar-yan and the rest of the Hong Kong women's cricket team will never forget.
With cricket making its debut at the Asian Games, it was the first time the players had been part of a multi-sporting event. It left them bedazzled by the pomp and ceremony. But now it is back to business - coming up against gold medal favourites Bangladesh in the opener today.
'I have seen nothing like this ever in my life,' said Hong Kong captain Wong reflecting on the spectacular opening ceremony. 'This is our first time at a multi-sport games and it was a totally new experience to us. I will never forget this.'
Hong Kong team manager Glyn Davies said: 'It was an awesome experience. We didn't know what to expect and being right in the middle of it all was just superb. The girls were blown away.'
But let's hope they get back their feet back on the ground right away for its crunch time as Hong Kong need to win at least one of their first two games to stand a chance of winning a medal in the eight-team competition 'These past few days have been quite relaxed but this morning after the opening ceremony, you could see everyone in the [Athlete's] village looking more focused,' Wong said.
'The girls are more excited than nervous and we all want to give it a go,' Wong said. 'Pakistan and Bangladesh are the favourites for the gold medal but we hope to be in the mix for a bronze. That is our target.'
Hong Kong is grouped with Bangladesh, Nepal and Japan. The other pool comprises Pakistan, China, Malaysia and Thailand. The format will be Twenty20 at the Guangdong Cricket Stadium.
'If we win our first two matches, we will move straight into the Cup final on Friday. But if we lose our first game, then we have to win our second to stand a chance of reaching the bronze medal play-off,' Davies explained.
'I believe we stand a good chance of winning a medal. It's all about holding our nerves and put into practice all what they have been doing in training for the last few months,' Davies said.
So with the magic of the opening ceremony still fresh in their memories, the Hong Kong women's cricket team will go out today hoping to create something equally magical.