Small makes up all-Test England side
ENGLAND'S Hong Kong Sixes skipper, Graham Gooch, has called former Test player Gladstone Small into his squad for next week's tournament.
Small, the 31-year-old Barbados-born Warwickshire paceman, and Essex all-rounder John Stephenson have been confirmed as replacements for Chris Lewis and Matthew Maynard, who had to withdraw from the original squad after being selected for England's wintertour of the West Indies.
Originally, Stephenson and Gloucestershire's Mark Alleyne were lined up as replacements but Gooch preferred Small to Alleyne.
All seven England representatives in the Cathay Pacific and Wharf Holdings-sponsored Sixes, which take place at the Kowloon Cricket Club on October 1-2, are now Test players, with Small and Stephenson joining Gooch, Phillip DeFreitas, Neil Fairbrother, John Emburey and Dermot Reeve.
India, last year's runners-up to Pakistan, will fancy their chances of going one better this time now that all-rounder Ravi Shastri has been added to the squad.
Shastri, whose left-arm spin bowling and forceful batting swept India into the final, was missing from the official team list two weeks ago because the Sixes clashed with a domestic fixture in India - which has now been cancelled.
Organisers Cricket World International have also finalised team colours for the event.
Newcomers South Africa, who are taking the place of Zimbabwe in the nine-team line-up, will wear dark green, while England will change from last year's dark grey to white.
The other teams will wear the same coloured shirts as last year, with Australia in yellow, India in sky blue, New Zealand in light grey, Pakistan in lime green, Sri Lanka in royal blue, West Indies in orange and Hong Kong in red.
Meanwhile, the future of cricket in the territory is, quite literally, in safe hands after a two-match tour of Taiwan by the Hong Kong Cricket Association's all-Chinese Dragons team.
The Dragons won their first match but lost their second against the Taipei Cricket Association and team manager Bharat Gohel was very encouraged by their displays.
''We bowled and fielded very well but need to work on our batting,'' said Gohel.
''Overall, though, the tour went well and the players learned a lot. They enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next tour, all being well, to Beijing next year.'' After winning their first match by two runs, the Dragons lost their second by two wickets after scoring only 105 for seven in 36 overs.
The Dragons had Taipei in trouble at 98 for eight but the home side's ninth-wicket pair won the match in the 30th over.