Execute your skills or fail, says City Kaitak coach Robin Singh ahead of Hong Kong T20 Blitz
Former India international says the local players must step up to a different level when the come up against overseas players
Execute your skills, or fail – that’s the message from City Kaitak coach Robin Singh to the Hong Kong players as they go up against top internationals in next month’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
The former Indian international and Hong Kong coach arrived in the City last week, one month before the Blitz in order to prepare the players for the March 8-12 tournament, which also features Kowloon Cantons, Hung Hom JD Warriors, Hong Kong Island United and Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
“I think the key to being successful is to adapt and for the Hong Kong players to learn to play at different levels because this tournament will feature several international players,” said Singh, who had previously said that “second place was not an option”.
“T20 is a fast-paced game and you cannot think twice. Your skill levels have to be up to the mark and you have to be able to execute. If you cannot execute you are gone.
“Execute your skills or you will be a failure. You cannot second guess. Back yourself to do it.”
City Kaitak have secured the services of one of the best-ever T20 players in Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan – one of several big-name players signed up for the tournament.
Kowloon Cantons have landed Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara will play for Galaxy Gladiators Lantau while West Indian Darren Sammy will turn out for Hung Hom JD Jaguars. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Hong Kong Island United.
With such quality in the Hong Kong tournament, the local players will have to step up. City Kaitak’s players include Hong Kong internationals Aizaz Khan, Nadeem Ahmed and Waqas Barkat while their Dragons player is Siegfried Wai.
As part of his coaching and mentorship role, Singh wants to spend the next month honing the skills of the local players.
“I am here early to have a look at most of the players,” said Singh, who coached Hong Kong from 2004-06 and is familiar with the cricket environment in the city. “I don’t really know most and one month will give me time to get an idea of what they need to do to be competitive in this format because they will be playing at a different level. The standard will be higher.”
Singh has vast experience in leading a T20 side having coached the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League – the world’s highest-profile 20-over competition.
Singh said like any format, T20 requires a team containing specialists and all-rounders and, most of all, game-changers.
“You need two or three guys in the team who fit into certain roles in different conditions and these players become the game-changers,” said Singh.
“We need to develop these types of players. Changing a game may be in just one over, it does not have to be over 20 overs. So you must understand what the competition is like, what are the conditions and pick our teams based on that.”
City Kaitak team spokesman Alok Jain said Singh’s presence was not only about building a winning franchise for the Blitz.
“We are also keen on developing City Kaitak juniors and we have had a nice response from people in the community,” he said. “Robin has coached at a high level and it’s a good opportunity to see what he can offer.”