28 September 2018
HK U-19 Captain Kabir Sodhi poses with the U-19 Asia Cup trophy alongside Rohail Nazir (Pakistan), Tawid Hidroy (Bangladesh) and Nipun Dananjaya (Sri Lanka)
The Hong Kong U-19s are set to begin their ACC U-19 Asia Cup campaign tomorrow morning against Pakistan U-19 at the M.A.Aziz Stadium in Chittagong.
“I think the boys have gained a huge amount out of the camp” said Head Coach Mark Farmer when talking about the pre-tour.
“For us in Hong Kong we don’t have a huge amount of facilities that we can use, so for us getting out of the country to somewhere like Malaysia that has great facilities for us to do a variety of practices -whether it’s out in the middle or having some game time- is hugely valuable.”
“The opportunity to play on turf which we don’t get in Hong Kong, and to play some games together again is tough to do in Hong Kong, is hugely valuable. I think the guys have got a huge amount out of this week, and it sets them up really nicely leading into the tournament”
When asked about the squad’s strengths, Farmer pointed out the mix of youth and experience in the sides, as well as the potency of the bowling attack and the strength of the top order.
“I think there are multiple strengths to the side. The side’s got really nice balance of youth and experience. Guys like Wajid that are in their last tour with the U19s, but we’ve also got a number of guys that have graduated from the U-16s as well. So I think having that youth and experience is a really nice balance”
“There are guys like Haroon who’ve just come back from the national tour, so we’ve got a really good bowling unit coming together, and the batting unit as well looking really good at the top order, especially from the work they’ve done at the prep tour.”
Mohammad Wajid, who scored 35 and 66 batting at 3 in the two warmup games, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the strongest teams in the world.
“It means a lot to be a part of the Hong Kong National Team. This is a good opportunity for the Hong Kong boys to compete against some of the strongest Test Nations around and to see where we stand with our abilities compared to theirs.”
“There are a few things I’ll be learning from the tournament by the end of it, but personally my main focus at the moment would be to try and do as well as I could and put on some strong performances for my team so they can hopefully get through to the play-offs”
“Hopefully we would be able to put on some good strong performances against some of the strong Test nations”
This is the first time that Hong Kong will be taking part in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup. They took part in the ACC U-19 Eastern Qualifiers in 2017, but lost the finals to Nepal by 5 wickets, therefore missing out on the 2017 edition of this tournament.
When asked about what Hong Kong’s goals for this tournament are, skipper Kabir Sodhi’s response was clear.
“We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t come to win, and that’s what we’re looking to do. That’s what we’re here for.”
Much like the Senior Men’s Team did earlier this month, the Hong Kong U-19s will be looking to leave a strong impression at the Asia Cup. Details on fixtures and squad list can be found on the Asian Cricket Council website. All game start at 11 AM Hong Kong time. Be sure to tune in to support the boys! Hong Kong Ga Yau!