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Cricket Hong Kong

Could Hong Kong-born Mark Chapman play for New Zealand given his fine form for Auckland?

The 23-year-old is one of the best batsmen in New Zealand’s Super Smash competition and is unlikely to be available for the World Cup qualifiers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 5:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 January, 2018, 6:11pm

Hong Kong batsman Mark Chapman may be on the verge of playing for New Zealand after some powerful performances for Auckland, although he would be welcome back in the city should he wish to return.

The 23-year-old Hong Kong-born Chapman is on fire in New Zealand’s T20 Super Smash competition, hitting 295 runs from seven innings at an average of 42 and a strike rate of 178 for the Auckland Aces – second highest in the competition.

New Zealand media are speculating that Chapman may be given a chance in the Black Caps’ T20 series against Pakistan that starts on January 22.

“I’m pretty lucky I’ve got a couple of passports. I can play for Hong Kong tomorrow and the Black Caps the next day theoretically,” Chapman told New Zealand’s Stuff website.

“I definitely did support New Zealand when I was all the way in Hong Kong. I definitely watched [former captain] Stephen Fleming with a keen eye.

“[Playing for New Zealand] is something I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a young man watching the Black Caps. It would be pretty special if I did get the call, but I’m trying to not get too far ahead of myself and focusing on playing for Auckland and doing really well. Hopefully, as a result of scoring a few runs the opportunities might come.”

Chapman has played two one-day internationals and 19 T20 matches for Hong Kong. He scored a century, 124 not out, on his ODI debut against United Arab Emirates in Dubai on November 16, 2015 – becoming the first Hong Kong batsman to score a century in an official one-day match. He played his second and last ODI for Hong Kong two days later.

He was part of the Hong Kong T20 side who scored a famous victory over test nation Bangladesh in the World T20 qualifiers in Chittagong in March, 2014. Chapman also played an anchor role, scoring 40 runs, as Hong Kong beat Afghanistan in Dublin in July 2015 in another T20 qualifier.

Hong Kong’s next big assignment is the 2019 World Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March but Chapman is unlikely to be a part of the squad.

“My last communication with Mark and his official availability, which he fills in, was that he is unavailable for the qualifiers,” said Hong Kong head coach Simon Cook.

“If that has changed, which I doubt, we would of course love to have him play for Hong Kong again.”

Chapman’s New Zealand father, Peter, was a crown prosecutor for the Hong Kong government and his mother is a Hong Kong Chinese who worked in finance.

He moved to New Zealand when he was 13 years old and has played for Hong Kong since the age of 16.