10 Aug 2017

Hong Kong players set to take on Murali in Singapore T20


Members of Hong Kong's national squad will have the opportunity to face up to the greatest wicket taker in international cricket of all this weekend, with Kowloon Cricket Club participating in the SCC T20 tournament in Singapore.

Muttiah Muralitharan will play as a guest player for the Singapore Cricket Club in the eight team tournament that invites premier clubs from around the world to participate. 

KCC have been grouped with Singhalese Sports Club (Sri Lanka), Melbourne Cricket Club (Australia) and a Singapore Development squad with the top two teams progressing to the semi-finals.

Former Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke is in charge of the squad, with Cricket Hong Kong providing Anshuman Rath, Nizakat Khan and Karandeep Singh as guest players to boost KCC's depth.

"The cricket is a very high standard," Burke said.

"KCC played in 2011 and 2012 and Hong Kong Cricket Club played in the last one in 2015 and from memory I don't think either club has won a game." 

"It would be the highest standard amatuer club tournament in the world. You've got guys pushing for professional contracts and Singhalese Sports Club from Sri Lanka are actually a first Class teams so it's a very good level." 

"We sat down a month ago and said to ourselves we'd be disappointed if we aren't in the top two and play in the semi-finals."

The tournament will serve as ideal opportunity for many of Hong Kong's national squad players to get quality match practice in before the new season and the experience of Anshuman and Nizakat is giving up and coming players the chance to learn from HK's top players.

"They've been a huge plus already and worked their backsides off at training," Burke said. 

"Just them being around at training and their work ethic around our younger guys has been a real plus for us."

Hong Kong coach Simon Cook said he'll be keeping an eye on the tournament but said results won't have too much bearing on future selections.

"It's very good cricket, I played in the tournament a couple of years ago and they come up against very good sides and are very competitive. It's more about additional preparation in for those guys during a period that we don't have much on," Cook said.