Cricket Hong Kong

Asia Cup 2018: no parade against India and Pakistan for Hong Kong as skipper Anshuman Rath leads 17-strong squad to UAE

The 20-year-old stays on as captain for the regional event after successfully taking over from Babar Hayat at the Malaysia qualifier

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 6:28pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 September, 2018, 10:57pm

Youngster Anshuman Rath will continue as captain of Hong Kong as they face two of the biggest teams in the world at the Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates.

The 20-year-old Rath will lead a 17-man squad for the six-team tournament after taking over from Babar Hayat for last week’s Asian Cup Qualifier in Malaysia, where Hong Kong scored a thrilling victory over UAE in the final to advance to the main finals.

They take on Pakistan on Sunday in the first of their two group A matches before playing India two days later.

“A change of captain is always tricky because your captain is involved in plans and approaches and the direction of the team,” said coach Simon Cook. “Anshuman has to adapt quickly to each bowler and what they are trying to do, what they are thinking and who to turn to in pressure situations.

“A lot of things go into captaincy, it’s not only about telling people what to do. It was a learning curve for him and he did magnificently well to cope. His personal game did not suffer.”

Rath hit a century (102) against UAE in their pool match and also had scores of 22 (against Malaysia), 52 (Nepal) and 28 (UAE in the final). Babar, who gave up captaincy after three years because he wanted to focus on his batting, also scored a ton against UAE in the pool fixture with his 107.

“We are looking forward to seeing Anshuman against Pakistan and India,” said Cook. “His style is different to Babar’s, he is more direct with his communication and expects a lot from the players and he will tell them if they are not playing to his high standards.”

Selectors have added Raag Kapur and Tanveer Ahmed to the squad, who played in Malaysia to make up the 17-strong roster allowed for the Asia Cup.

With a short turnaround between the two tournaments, Cook said they had yet to formulate a strategy for their matches against the two one-day superpowers.

“It’s been pretty whirlwind,” said Cook, whose squad leave for UAE on Wednesday. “In the next couple of days, we will have a few training sessions and then hone our skills.

“It’s a great opportunity for players to shine on the world stage and really show what they are all about. We are mindful that we don’t treat it like a parade. We are going there with the aim of causing an upset rather than playing a magnificent game and losing. That is our focus.”

Pakistan have named six fast bowlers in their squad led by Mohammad Amir, while India will be without captain Virat Kohli, who is taking a rest after the five-test series against England. They will be led by Rohit Sharma.

Hong Kong Squad for the ACC Asia Cup Qualifiers 2018

Anshuman Rath (Hong Kong Cricket Club) (Captain)

Aizaz Khan (Kowloon Cricket Club)

Aftab Hussain (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)

Babar Hayat (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)

Cameron McAuslan (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

Chris Carter (Kowloon Cricket Club)

Ehsan Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)

Ehsan Nawaz (Pakistan Association Cricket Club)

Haroon Arshad (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)

Kinchit Shah (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

Nadeem Ahmed (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)

Nizakat Khan (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

Raag Kapur (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

Scott McKechnie (Kowloon Cricket Club)

Tanveer Ahmed (Hong Kong Cricket Club)

Tanwir Afzal (Pakistan Association Cricket Club)

Waqas Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan Cricket Club)