Sixes pay tribute to Ben Hollioake

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:00am

Ben Hollioake will be remembered at next month's Cathay Pacific/Standard Chartered Hong Kong Sixes. The Hong Kong Cricket Association has named the trophy which is awarded to the Player of the Tournament after the young England star who died in a car crash in March.

'With the consent of his family, we have decided to award the Ben Hollioake Trophy to the Player of the Tournament next month. Ben's brother Adam, who will also be playing for England that weekend, will make the inaugural presentation,' HKCA chairman Mike Walsh said yesterday.

Australian-born Hollioake was killed when his Porsche span out of control and hit a brick wall. He was 24. Also in the car was his 22-year-old girlfriend Janaya Scholten, who was critically injured. Ben and Adam were visiting their parents in Perth after Adam had played one-day matches for England in New Zealand.

'It was a great loss and we felt this would be a nice way of remembering him. A lot of people knew Ben in Hong Kong. He also played here last year and in previous years. It is appropriate that the Player of the Tournament Trophy be named after him,' said Walsh.

Both the Hollioake brothers got their first feel for the game in Hong Kong. Their father, John, lived here in 1980 and was a resident engineer involved in the Discovery Bay phase one project. He was also instrumental in setting up the Junior Gappers programme at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.

Adam was nine and Ben was three at the time, and they used to accompany their dad to the weekend clinics. Ben went to playschool in Hong Kong and then joined his brother at Bradbury Junior School. They left Hong Kong in 1983 for England.

Ben Hollioake burst on to the international stage in May 1997 as a 19-year-old - the youngest player to represent England since Brian Close in 1949 - when he smashed 63 from 48 balls at Lord's in the final one-day match of England's 3-0 series whitewash of Australia. But after being dubbed the new Ian Botham, his career stalled.

He played two Tests for England and 20 one-day internationals. He was pencilled in as a player to make the shortlist for the 2003 World Cup in South Africa before tragedy struck him down.

Both Ben and Adam made regular visits to Hong Kong over the years. They first played for England at the 1997 Hong Kong Sixes, and Ben returned last year too. 'The Hong Kong Sixes was one of the last international events he appeared in,' said Walsh.

Meanwhile, the draw for the November 2-3 tournament at the Kowloon Cricket Club will take place today. Organisers revealed that Sri Lankan cricketer Aravinda de Silva would not be able to officiate at the draw as originally planned.

'He had some other commitments. But we have got another Sri Lankan cricketer, Romesh Kaluwitharana to make an appearance,' said Walsh.

Most of the seven teams from overseas have been firmed up, according to Walsh, and will be announced today. England are expected to send a strong side and will include many current and former one-day internationals in their team as they make an attempt to win the 2002 title in memory of their former teammate.