Hong Kong T20 Blitz

‘Learn from the best’: West Indies great Darren Sammy tells local players to make the most of Hong Kong T20 Blitz

The World Cup-winning captain says the tournament provides a great chance for young cricketers to watch how the pros go about their business

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 January, 2018, 4:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 January, 2018, 9:45pm

West Indies’ World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy has urged Hong Kong cricketers to learn as much as they can from their overseas teammates taking part in next month’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz at Mission Road.

Sammy, who will return for Cali-Mex Hung Hom JD Jaguars at the February 6-11 tournament, helped the Jaguars to third place in last year's tournament after two victories from their four matches.

“It was a good tournament and an exciting one and the reason I am in Hong Kong is because I feel you have to give something back to the game in whatever way you can,” said Sammy, who led the West Indies to World Cup T20 titles in 2012 and 2016.

“Hong Kong has some very good cricketers and the Blitz provides them with a great chance to play with world-class players.

“It’s not only about playing with them on the field but also watching how they prepare for games in the dressing room. We have players like Kumar Sangakkara [from Sri Lanka] there and there is no better role model.”

The Jaguars will be captained by Hong Kong’s Kinchit Shah and also boast local talent Nizakat Khan, who scored a century in last year’s tournament.

Sangakkara, one of test cricket’s most prolific batsmen, returns with the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau team.

Other foreign players in the Jaguars outfit are Ben Laughlin (Australia), Riki Wessels (England), Johan Botha (South Africa) and Dutchman Roelof van der Merwe.

Sammy said the T20 format, which has spawned professional leagues in India, Australia, England and other test-playing nations, has helped to draw new fans to cricket and the Hong Kong T20 Blitz is playing its part.

“T20 has taken off all over the globe, people have accepted it, it is fast and exciting, well paid and young players aspire to it,” said Sammy.

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“I still tell them that test cricket is the ultimate format in terms of physical and mental abilities but T20 brings excitement which also contributes to the longer format.

“The scoring rate has gone higher in test cricket. Every format has its place. You now get so much more opportunities for cricketers to showcase their talent. We hope Hong Kong fans will come out to support the teams and the tournament.”