Hong Kong sharpen up T20 fielding ahead of ACC Asia Cup and ICC World Cup
Specialist coach Trevor Penney will assist the team during their campaign in Bangladesh and India
Hong Kong have turned to fielding specialist Trevor Penney to help boost their chances at the ACC Asia Cup qualifier and ICC World Cup T20 tournaments over the next six weeks.
The men’s side are in high spirits as they prepare for the two high-profile events with the squad leaving today for Bangladesh to take part in the Asia Cup qualifiers before heading to India for the World Cup finals
And with fielding such a key part of the T20 game, the players are sharpening up on their catching and throwing with the 47-year-old Penney, who was previously with the India and Sri Lanka national teams.
“It’s why we invest in trying to bring the best guys here who can improve our fielding, because it’s such a key area in the T20 game,” said Hong Kong coach Simon Cook. “The atmosphere in the team is good, we had two days of really good work and Trevor has helped to enhance the work that we are doing.”
Fielding is particularly important for the shortest format of cricket, where quick throws from the outfield can restrict runs and accuracy when targeting the stumps can yield important wickets at crucial times.
Hong Kong face Oman, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup qualifiers, starting this week in Fatullah, just outside the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka, with the winners advancing to the finals against test giants India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the hosts.
Watch an interview with Hong Kong’s fielding coach Trevor Penney
Their first game is against Oman on Friday at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium with all teams in the qualifier equally matched.
“Playing at this level, there are no easy games,” said Cook. “ We are not going to tournaments looking at where the easy wins are.
“We must win all the games, particularly in these tournaments where only one team goes through. We have to compete even in the games we lose because essentially it comes down to run rate.”
With margins expected to be tight, Penney’s role in the squad is even more crucial, with Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal saying they are ready to put their skills into practice.
“Sometimes, you can win or lose a game with fielding,” said Tanwir. “ Trevor has made us dive left and right, as well as focus on accuracy when trying to hit the stumps and moving quickly .”
The World Cup takes place from March 8 to April 3 with Hong Kong kicking off the programme against Zimbabwe in Nagpur.
Hong Kong are in group B of the first round with Zimbabwe, Scotland and Afghanistan.