03 Jan 2018

Who is in for the Blitz? Kumar Sangakkara latest in list of big names to sign

After the first month of overseas player announcements there is already excitement around the Hong Kong T20 Blitz once again. Already there a world number one ODI bowler, an ICC World Twenty20 winning captain and a man who is coming back to entertain the crowds from a thrilling 31-ball century in the 2017 edition.

So here's what we know so far...

Kumar Sangakkara (Galaxy Gladiators Lantau): Few players possess a more complete record than Kumar Sangakkara. The Sri Lankan has scored runs all over the world and plays with grace and style as good as any to play the game. He's won an ICC World T20, played in a World Cup final and a national hero of Sri Lanka.

Chris Lynn (Hung Hom JD Jaguars): The Jaguars started the Hong Kong T20 Blitz overseas free agency period with a bang, announcing Australian superstar Chris Lynn who recently became the first man to sign a million dollar, five-year contract in the Australian Big Bash League and was taken as the number one pick in the recent Pakistan Super League draft.
Such was his dominance in the BBL, the hashtag ‘Lynsannity’ went viral and his 124 metre six off Shaun Tait was arguably the highlight of that tournament. Lynn also holds the record with Gautam Gambhir for the highest opening partnership in IPL history with his 93 off 41 balls in a stand of 164 for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Check out his best work below!

Shadab Khan (Hong Kong Island United): Shadab Khan’s rise in international cricket has been extraordinary. He was scouted and picked by Islamabad United less than a year ago and within 12 months he has gone on to win the Champions Trophy and the CPL. Shadab Khan won man of the series in his very first international tournament. He also played in the BBL and is currently one of the most sought after players in franchise cricket across the globe.

Dwayne Smith (Kowloon Cantons): No on in Hong Kong will forget the opening day of the 2017 T20 Blitz when Dwayne Smith smashed a century in 31 balls, including 29 runs from the first over. He's back in blue with the Cantons and will likely form a lethal opening combination with HK captain Babar Hayat.

Hassan Ali (Hong Kong Island United): United have the world's best one day fast bowler in their line-up. Hasan Ali took the world by storm during the Champions Trophy in 2017 as the leading wicket taker, becoming famous for delivering balls like the one below to get rid of Wayne Parnell.

Sohail Tanvir (City Kaitak): City Kaitak's first pick is a big one with Sohail Tanvir capable of destruction with both bat and ball. This was on display in the recent Caribbean Premier League where the Pakistan star took record figures of 5-3 for Guyana.

Jofra Archer (Galaxy Gladiators Lantau): Jofra Archer is an exciting young talent playing with Sussex in England, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the last 12 months. The Barbados-born fast bowling all-rounder bowls at a lively pace and has already been picked in the Bangladesh Premier League and Big Bash League this season. A star of the future for sure!

Darren Sammy (Hung Hom JD Jaguars): Darren Sammy was a fan favourite at the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz and he returns once again in pink for the Jaguars. If he and Chris Lynn are at the crease together - look out! The always smiling St Lucian has played in all the major Twenty20 Leagues around the world and of course captained West Indies to glory at the ICC World Twenty20 in 2016.

Cameron Delport (Galaxy Gladiators Lantau): Cameron Delport is modern-day T20 globetrotter, playing around the world in the Bangladesh Premier League, NatWest Blast, T10 and Big Bash League. A hard-hitting opener, who can bowl brisk medium pace, the South African-born Delport is a dynamic player who will give the Galaxy plenty of intmidation at the top of the order.

Roelof van der Merwe (Hung Hom JD Jaguars): As far as Associate players go, Roelof van der Merwe has more experience than most. He has played over 160 First Class games and has played One Day International Cricket for both South Africa and The Netherlands. He's a hard-hitting batsman and a miserly left-arm spinner with a competitive edge.