Hong Kong players ready for global T20 leagues, says Blitz star Nizakat Khan
The man of the match in Sunday’s final is being encouraged to play in the Caribbean Premier League by his Jaguars teammate Darren Sammy
Man of the match Nizakat Khan hopes the performances of local players at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz will open the doors for Hong Kong cricketers to take part in major Twenty20 tournaments around the world.
Nizakat scored 93 in the final on Sunday to help Hung Hom JD Jaguars win the third edition of the tournament at Mission Road, beating Galaxy Gladiators Lantau by six runs in the final.
Nizakat, Kowloon Cantons captain Babar Hayat, City Kaitak’s Anshuman Rath and Hong Kong players such as Kyle Christie, Haroon Arshad, Kinchit Shah, among others, more than held their own playing alongside and against top overseas players during the six-day tournament.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully playing in some of the big leagues,” said Nizakat, who was also player of the tournament at the 2017 Hong Kong World Sixes. “That is my benchmark. I hope that if I can keep knocking on doors my chance will come.
“I’ve scored a T20 century before in big matches [against Sydney Thunder in Australia] and other Hong Kong players such as Babar, he is phenomenal and is a top performer on the international stage, as well as Anshy Rath.
“A few of our boys are ready to play in those types of leagues.”
Hayat and Rath played in the Everest League in Nepal recently while Hayat also took part in the T10 league in United Arab Emirates.
Hayat and Rath have made runs in the Blitz and not looked out of place among stars such as Darren Sammy, Kumar Sangakkara and other top overseas players.
Nizakat said he was targeting the Bangladesh Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League, with his Jaguars teammate and two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy helping his cause.
“I’ve spoken to Darren and he’s very keen and told me to look at playing in those leagues. I’m doing well and hopefully it can work out.”
— Nizakat Khan (@Nizakatkhan75) February 11, 2018
Nizakat is also hoping the Blitz will help prepare the Hong Kong players for the 2019 ICC World Cup 50-over qualifiers to be played in Zimbabwe in March.
Hong Kong face Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe in their pool match as they try to qualify for the 2019 event.
“The way I batted in the final, it will give me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can do well to help my team [in Zimbabwe],” said Nizakat.
“It’s going to be a tough tournament and we are going to try our best. Whoever plays good cricket at the end will win it.”