Cricket Hong Kong

Nizakat Khan wants to be Hong Kong’s best all-rounder after being cleared by ICC to bowl leg spin

Batting star passed a reassessment test on December 6 in Brisbane, but is still banned from bowling off spin

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 4:52pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 10:46pm

Batting star Nizakat Khan has set his sights on becoming the best all-rounder in Hong Kong after his ban on bowling leg-spin because of an illegal action was lifted.

The 24-year-old, who scored a T20 century against Big Bash League (BBL) team Sydney Thunder this month, has ben given the all clear by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after undergoing a reassessment test in Brisbane on December 6.

He was initially banned after it was found that his elbow flexed beyond the permitted 15 degrees during a World T20 qualifier against Nepal last year.

“It’s a big relief and I’m delighted to hear the news,” said Nizakat. “It’s really pleasing for me because of the hard work I’ve put in to correct my action.

“It’s a new action and it took me some time to get used to it, but I’m pretty confident with it. The test was pretty easy. It was well organised and the facility in Brisbane was good. It took just half an hour.

“I really want to be the best all-rounder in Hong Kong. I’m a batting all-rounder, but I really like to bowl and stay involved in the game.”

Nizakat still, however, is banned from bowling his off spin because he has yet to be reassessed for that delivery.

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“I’m happy to bowl just leg spin now,” he said. “I’ll work on the off spin as well and maybe in a year or two I will take that test.”

Nizakat was one of star performers in the tour of Australia, where Hong Kong lost to the Thunder and BBL rivals Sydney Sixers.

In the second game against the Thunder, he smashed a brilliant century that had the 3,500 crowd in the town of Orange on their feet and made him a local hero.

After the match against Thunder, Nizakat was sought after by the fans for pictures and autographs.

At one stage while he was in his 90s, it looked like he would be caught but the crowd was delighted that he was dropped and went on to make his century.

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“That hundred was memorable for me,” said Nizakat. “It was the best innings of my life and reflected the amount of hard work I have put into my batting.

“It was an amazing atmosphere in Orange. The fans were backing me and gave our team good support.

“Later that evening, while I was going out for dinner there were some guys on the street who recognised me as the one who made a century and they came over and asked me for my autograph and took some pictures.”

Nizakat gave special credit to Hong Kong Cricket Club coach at Mark Wright.

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“I always mention his name because he’s the one who has helped to improve my technique and he has taught me how to play in different circumstances,” said Nizakat.

“So I have to give a lot of credit to him, he’s always there for help me and I would like to thank all my other coaches as well for their support.”

Nizakat and the Hong Kong team next travel to the United Arab Emirates for the Desert T20 tournament involving the hosts, Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Oman and Namibia.

The event will help Hong Kong prepare for their ICC World Cricket League clash against the Netherlands in February.