Coach Burke set to pick up his bat again

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 July, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong head coach Charlie Burke will come out of 'retirement' to play for Kowloon Cricket Club in a Twenty20 Asian club tournament in Singapore next month.

'I have been persuaded to play again by KCC so I will be coming out of retirement,' said Burke with a laugh, who will take part in the Singapore Cricket Club Twenty20 from August 19 to 21.

Burke will team up with his predecessor Aftab Habib, who will be the current or former international cricketer each team has to field for the eight-team tournament which will boast prize money of HK$60,000.

Habib, who played for England earlier in his career, was coach for two seasons prior to Burke taking over in May last year. 'It will be quite a big tournament with top club sides from Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and India taking part and a number of international cricketers also coming. It should be very interesting to see how KCC performs,' Burke said.

Unfortunately for Burke, KCC only provides two players - Roy Lamsam and Kinchit Shah - to the national squad training for the ACC Twenty20 in Nepal in December, which will be a regional qualifying tournament for the ICC World Twenty20. Burke would have loved to have seen more of the Hong Kong squad up against some of the best in the region in Singapore.

KCC will take on defending champions Sinhalese Sports Club (Sri Lanka), Melbourne Cricket Club (Australia), Madras Cricket Club (India), Royal Selangor Club (Malaysia), Rowlin National Academy (South Africa), the Singapore Cricket Association President's XI and hosts SCC. Matches will be played at the Padang and Kallang grounds.

The Sri Lankans will include several ex-test and one-day players like Nuwan Zoysa, Avishka Gunewardene and Thilan Thushara while Melbourne will bring a young side including highly rated all-rounder Alex Keath, 19, and left-handed batsman Michael Hill, a member of the Under-19 World Cup squad last year.

'This tournament is different because it gives young players the chance to play with past legends,' said Ashok Mahtani, a member of the tournament committee.