Hong Kong T20 Blitz

No sponsor, no sweat for Kowloon Cantons at Hong Kong T20 Blitz– they’ve still got two trophies

Owners of the privately backed franchise are confident they can win a third straight title in February

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 2:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 November, 2017, 10:37pm

Kowloon Cantons may not have corporate backing but they have something none of the other Hong Kong T20 Blitz franchises possess – two titles. And the defending champions are confident they can make it three in a row in the third edition of the tournament in February.

Cantons, who are backed by a group of enthusiastic cricket-loving women, have retained coach Craig Wright, captain Babar Hayat and Ehsan Nawaz from last year’s title-winning team but were not able to reassemble all the players who helped beat City Kaitak in last year’s final.

However, they did manage to bring five players back during the draft this month and are looking forward to being competitive once against from February 6-11 at Mission Road.

“We believe in our team being our family and so it was important to try and get back our players from the earlier seasons. We are disappointed we couldn’t get everyone back, the Cantons players are always very highly sought after,” said Urvashi Sethi-Sodhi, CEO of Kowloon Cantons.

Despite being up against corporate-backed franchises, the Cantons have managed to bring in some star names over the past two years – setting the precedent in 2016 when they secured the services of former Australia captain Michael Clarke for the rain-hit inaugural tournament.

This year, they signed up West Indians Dwayne Smith and Marlon Samuels. England paceman Tymal Mills and India’s Yusuf Pathan also agreed to play but the former was forced to pull out through injury and the Indian cricket board eventually blocked Pathan from taking part.

“Not only have we managed to keep our teams on par with the other corporate-backed franchisees, we have also won the trophy both times, which says a lot for our dedication to the sport as well as for our faith in our coach and players,” said Sethi-Sodhi.

Coach Wright said the squad they have put together in the draft is capable of winning a third title.

“We are looking forward to defending our title and going for three in a row in 2018,” said Wright. “The T20 Blitz event was fantastic last year and I’m sure will be even bigger and better this year.

“I am very pleased with the squad we have assembled and we will be doing all we can to deliver the trophy again for our passionate and enthusiastic team owners”

Kowloon Cantons said they will be soon announcing their international players.

Kowloon Cantons Squad:

Babar Hayat (captain), Ehsan Nawaz, Waqas Khan, Adeel Shafique, Hussain Butt, Ryan Buckley, Simandeep Singh, Sunny Bhimsaria, Bobby Chan, Mohammad Saad and Hassan Khan.