by Tim Cutler
Tomorrow sees the third edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz get underway at the Ting Kwong Road Recreation Ground. On the back of the announcement of KPMG upgrading their support to become major sponsor – leading a long list of corporate partners including Accenture and Hublot – the event starts with a single afternoon game at 2pm HKT; the Hung Hom JD Jaguars take on City Kaitak.
The event has been extended by a day this year, however the number of fixtures has not changed. Rather than having three games on the Saturday, each day following day one will have two matches (10am & 2pm starts) during Hong Kong’s winter days. Local temperatures have been hovering around the low double digits with forecasts predicting a rise into the mid-late teens over the course of the next week.
As well as previews and match reports, I will look a little further under the hood of the event (plus a little history), with a particular focus on the players from Hong Kong and other emerging cricket nations.
Knowing how many will be playing fantasy matches – especially in the sub-continent – I will also give my pick of my Dream 11 teams.
Yes, we’ll have some pieces featuring some of the big name stars, however the beauty of the event – perhaps more so than any other worldwide – is the particular attention taken to showcasing emerging talent from Hong Kong and other Associate Member (AM) nations. It was the first T20 tournament to have a mandated overseas spot for an AM player, and this year sees some of the best emerging talent on show! Considering the ICC World Cricket League Division Two (WCL2) teams (Canada, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, UAE) busy preparing for that event in Namibia, the Blitz franchises have done a great job in gathering five very talented cricketers – we have three from Netherlands and one each from Scotland and for the first time, Singapore.