Hong Kong’s best cricketers play the first of three 50-over All Star games on Saturday, in a series initially intended to help national team coach Trent Johnston with his selection ahead of the ICC Challenge League B tournament in Uganda. Originally scheduled for January, that competition has been postponed until later in the year and is now expected to take place before or after the global qualifiers for next year’s T20 World Cup. In total, 32 players have been divided into two squads for the Epic Group All Stars Series, with Babar Hayat captaining the HK Islanders, and Nizakat Khan taking charge of the Kowloon Lions. Both teams have a mix of players who have represented the city internationally, and younger players seen as being potential stars of the future. Kowloon Cricket Club captain Jamie Aktinson joins his club teammate Hayat in the Islanders side, as does Ateeg Iqbal and Haroon Arshad. Nizakat Khan, meanwhile, can call upon the bowling talents of Aizaz Khan and the up and coming Ayush Shukla for Kowloon Lions. CHK announces the Epic Group All Stars Series 2.0! https://t.co/L40DDtdXUV pic.twitter.com/qyxxuiAs5F — Cricket Hong Kong (@CricketHK) December 7, 2021 The two other games in the series will be held next Thursday, and on Sunday, December 19. All the matches are being played at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground. “We’re incredibly excited to have Epic Group’s support again to run the Epic Group All Stars Series for a second year,” Mark Farmer, Cricket Hong Kong’s general manager (high performance), said. “The continued absence of international cricket makes the series a critical part of our domestic cricket calendar. It provides an exciting and competitive platform for Hong Kong’s best cricketers to showcase their skills both domestically and around the world.” In order for Johnston to see as many players perform as possible, teams will be able to select 12 players, with a dedicated non-batter and non-bowler. HK Islanders: Babar Hayat (Captain), Adit Gorawara, Ateeq Iqbal, Bilal Akhtar, Chris Carter, Dhananjay Rao, Ehsan Ayaz, Ehsan Khan, Jamie Aktinson, Martin Coetzee, Mohammad Ali Khan, Mohammad Waheed, Niaz Ali, Shreyar Khan, Waqas Barkat, Yasim Murtaza, Haroon Arshad. Kowloon Lions : Nizakat Khan (Captain), Aftab Hussain, Aizaz Khan, Ayush Shukla, Dan Pascoe, Devang Bulsara, Ghazanfar Mohammad, Jayden Botfield, Mohammad Hassan Khan, Mohsin Khan, Ninad Shah, Shahid Wasif, Simandeep Singh, Waqas Khan, Zakir Hayat, Zeeshan Ali.