Hong Kong T20 Blitz

Hung Hom JD Jaguars bank on Australian ace Chris Lynn for Hong Kong T20 Blitz

The Australian’s injury means he is more likely to be at Mission Road than play for his country against England

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 10:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 10:09pm

Hong Kong JD Jaguars are confident Australian master blaster Chris Lynn will be available for February’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz, having finalised their squad for the tournament at Mission Road.

Lynn is one of the world’s outstanding T20 players, having starred for the Kolkata Knights in India and for Brisbane Heat in Australia’s Big Bash League.

However, after being picked for Australia’s one-day squad to face England, there were doubts about his participation in the Blitz because there was a good chance he would also be chosen for the T20 side to face the tourists.

The T20s clash with the Blitz but an injury ruled Kynn out of Australia’s one-day series, making it less likely that he would be picked for the T20s.

The Jaguars on Wednesday confirmed wicketkeeper-batsman Riki Wessels as their latest signing as they settle for five international players to complement their contingent of 11 local cricketers.

Jaguars’ overseas players include two-time World T20 winning captain, Darren Sammy, who will return this year.

“Having both Sammy and Lynn in the same eleven is any coach’s dream,” said team coach Afzaal Haider. “Not only will they help the team perform well, but they will surely be an inspiration for all the other players, who could hopefully take from their work ethic and the way that they carry themselves.”

Haider will be assisted by Johan Botha, who will return to the team in dual roles of an international player and assistant coach. Botha has captained South Africa in ODI and T20I matches, and has also led a number of league teams.

Botha will be joined by another former South African cricketer, Roelof van der Merwe. After impressive performances for South Africa, Van der Merwe now plays for The Netherlands and Somerset. He too will be able to play as an all-rounder for the Jaguars.

“Having a quintet of international players who come with a wealth of experience and range of abilities across all facets of the game is great to have,” said team co-owner Susan Lulla. “Each of them have been prolific in their respective fields, and this keeps us in good stead.”

The international players are backed by an ammunition of local talent who have been able to hold their own. Batsman Nizakat Khan has scored centuries across the globe – including at last weekend’s domestic Premier League T20.

Similarly, Nadeem Ahmed, a slow left-arm orthodox bowler, has made it a regularity of taking four and five wicket-hauls against international teams.

While both players have been a common feature in the senior Hong Kong national team for years, Jaguars have also included a 14-year-old player in their squad. Aarush Bhagwat is a wicketkeeper-batsman who already has an impressive record, and he has most recently played for the Under 16s Hong Kong national team.

“Our team is comprised of a perfect combination of youth and experience, as well as local and international talents,” said captain Kinchit Shah. “As captain, I will have the special pleasure and privilege of working with the strengths of each player to lead our team to victory.”

In 2017, Jaguars narrowly missed on a spot in the finals but have been able to strengthen their player line-up for 2018 and have received support from sponsors Kerry Hotel, Player Layer and Cali-mex.