Hong Kong Sixes stars look to impress selectors
Chamara Kapugedera and Wayne Parnell will spearhead the Sri Lankan and South African campaign for glory at the Karp Group Hong Kong Sixes at the Kowloon Cricket Club this weekend.
Kapugedera, 25, who has lost favour with Sri Lanka's selectors and was overlooked for the recent ICC World Twenty20, will be hoping a good tournament helps him to get back into the spotlight with Sri Lanka hosting New Zealand in a test and one-day series soon.
A powerful hitter of the ball, he has represented Sri lanka in eight tests and 92 one-day internationals as well as 21 T20 matches and was once regarded as a promising batsman ready to take over when the likes of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara retired.
But he hasn't quite lived up to his potential and will hope a good weekend at the KCC will help his rehabilitation back into the national team.
Sri Lanka, who won the 2007 tournament, when they defeated the Shane Warne-led All Stars, will be led by Jehan Mubarak and will also include promising youngsters Chamith Kulasekara, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Sachith Pathirana and Ramith Rambukwella.
Another cricketer bidding to win back his test place will be South African fast bowler Parnell. The left-arm seamer was a member of the squad that played at the ICC World Twenty20 but has lost his place in the longer form of the game. A naturally gifted all-rounder, Parnell, like Kapugedera, will be banking on a successful Hong Kong Sixes to stamp his presence in the minds of his country's selectors.
South Africa have won the tournament twice, in 2006 and 2009, and will be looking to big-hitting batsmen, skipper Colin Ingram, Dillon Du Preez and Rory Kleinveldt to provide the foundation for victory. The rest of the squad comprises Lyall Meyer, David Miller and Khayelihle Zondo.
Sri Lanka are pooled with sub-continent rivals India and Pakistan as well as the Netherlands in the preliminary round. South Africa's pool comprises England, Australia and Hong Kong.