Two players will miss out on draft for Hong Kong’s first Twenty20 Blitz tournament
Mark Chapman has university commitments in New Zealand, while Aizaz Khan is injured, but officials believe there will still be plenty of talent for four franchises to choose from on Thursday
Hong Kong vice-captain Mark Chapman and teammate Aizaz Khan are unavailable for Thursday’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz draft, but the four franchises will have plenty of local talent to choose from for next month’s tournament.
Chapman has university commitments in New Zealand, while Khan is injured, however, Hong Kong Cricket Association chief executive Tim Cutler and former Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson are among the prize picks from among the uncontracted players.
The draft, starting on Thursday at 1pm, will feature senior players who have signed contracts with the HKCA along with Premier League cricketers and under-19 players.
Outside the draft, franchises are also free to negotiate with overseas players who are interested in playing in the May 28 and 29 tournament at Mission Road.
HKCA marketing and commercial director Max Abbot said he expected the four teams to start confirming their overseas players on Friday.
The teams taking part in the competition are Rude Bar Island Warriors, Kowloon Cantons, Hung Hom JD Jaguars and Lantau GII Galaxy Riders. The names of all franchises were chosen by their respective owners.
They will play each other once with the top two playing in the final.
The HKCA on Wednesday also announced that Hong Kong will tour Ireland and Scotland in the summer for an Intercontinental Cup clash and limited-overs games.
The team face Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup from August 30 to September 2 in Belfast, followed by two Twenty20 internationals.
The squad will then head to Edinburgh and play in two one-day internationals against Scotland on September 8 and 10 in the second edition of the Braidwood Cup.
Hong Kong’s director of cricket Charlie Burke said: “A big focus of our performance goals is to schedule more international matches outside the ICC events. The Ireland T20i matches and the Braidwood Cup against Scotland are the perfect opportunities.”