Hong Kong cricket team to compete internationally at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015

By Wong Yat-hei
By Wong Yat-hei |

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The Hong Kong team will compete in Ireland and Scotland in July.

The Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) announced today the final line-up for the squad that will compete in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015.

Led by Captain Tanwir Afzal, who replaced the retired Jamie Atkinson earlier this month, and head coach Charlie Burke, the Hong Kong team will compete in Ireland and Scotland between July 9 and 26. 

“The selectors have had a tough job. However, this would have to be one of the strongest squads we have ever had,” says coach Burke. "The T20 format best suits us and I'm confident we will qualify for the World Twenty20 again. The tournament requires us to play our best cricket from the first match, hence we are going to the venues earlier to prepare and get the right balance in the team.” 

There will be two young stars on the team: Anshuman Rath, 17, from Harrow School in Britain, and 19-year-old Kinchit Shah from Russell Square International College in India.  

Burke has very high hopes for the two youngsters. “It's great to have the likes of Anshuman and Kinchit back (from overseas study), as they are quality batsmen and very good fielders. The focus for the coming weeks will be fielding and game plans,” Burke says.  

The squad will depart for London on June 23 for the pre-tour matches against Sussex and Warwickshire County Cricket Clubs. 

A total of 51 matches will be played in the 18-day tournament. Drawn in Group A, Hong Kong will play against co-hosts Ireland, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, USA and Jersey. 

The top four teams in each of the two groups will progress to the quarter finals, and the top six will qualify for the Group Stages of the ICC World Twenty 20 India 2016 held next March.