Relief for teams with 2018 Hong Kong T20 Blitz to be played over six days
The extra day prevents an early-morning start on Saturday as the fixtures are released one day before the official draft
Just days after a successful Hong Kong World Sixes, the focus shifts almost immediately to February’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz with organisers on Wednesday releasing the fixtures ahead of Thursday’s draft.
Cricket Hong Kong has decided to extend the Blitz to six days, from five, to make it easier for the five franchises. The tournament will be held from February 6-11, 2018 at Mission Road with two matches a day instead of three.
“Everyone at Cricket Hong Kong is on a high after the Sixes and we’re excited to get to work on the Blitz now to take that up another level,” said Max Abbott, head of major tournaments at Cricket Hong Kong.
“The draw sees each team play two morning and two afternoon matches and the decision to extend the event to six days was taken after feedback from players and staff that the three-game day, which required a 7.45am start on Saturday was a bit taxing.”
“The matches are evenly spaced out now and it gives us a big opportunity during the week to get as many schools in as possible.”
The five franchises taking part in the Blitz are defending champions Kowloon Cantons, runners-up City Kaitak, Hung Hom JD Jaguars, Hong Kong Island United and Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
More than 80 players are listed as available for the draft, in which City Kaitak will have top selection after Wednesday’s draw to decide who picks first. Jaguars will go second followed by HKI United, Kowloon Cantons and Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
In next year’s tournament, City Kaitak and Jaguars will play the first match on Tuesday at 2pm in the only game of the day. From Wednesday onwards, there will be two matches a day, including Sunday’s final.
The teams play a round-robin with the top two teams meeting in the final.
Eight players have already been retained by the franchise. Kowloon Cantons have Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat and Eshan Nawaz, City Kaitak have signed up Aizaz Khan and Waqas Barkat, Hong Kong batsman Nizakat Khan and Kinchit Shah are with Hung Hong JD Jaguars, Tanwir Afzal and Ehsan Khan will play for Hong Kong Island while Galaxy Gladiators Lantau have Karandeep Singh and Haroon Arshad.