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Gatting Heaps Praise on Hong Kong Cricket Sixes

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Cricket Test legend Mike Gatting is looking forward to this year's Hong Kong Cricket Sixes. Gatting was manager of the England team that took part in the 2007 event and the experience has left him hungry for more.

Its a very good tournament, one that is respected throughout the cricket world, Gatting said. I was fortunate enough to accompany the England side to last years Sixes and all the guys agreed it was an excellent competition.

Gatting the former England captain who played 79 tests for his country from 1978 to 1995 believes the sixes format is an effective development tool for emerging international players.

It gives them exposure in the international arena where they have to play in an overseas climate and perform in a pressure situation, he explained. It definitely helps with their development. The ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] certainly thinks so you can see that from the quality of the side we brought over to Hong Kong last year.

We had players like Dimitri Mascarenhas and Luke Wright, who have both just been named in Englands one day squad to play New Zealand, plus the likes of Darren Maddy and Kabir Ali.

We also had Tim Bresnan, whos having a very good season and is pushing for England honours.

Gatting, 51, was speaking during a recent visit to Hong Kong to mark his appointment as a patron of the historic Hong Kong Cricket Club a position he described as a great honour.

The 2008 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes will be staged at the Kowloon Cricket Club on November 8-9.

The stellar line-up of players will include Australian master batsman Damien Martyn, former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming and Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq.

The trio who boast 298 tests and 927 one day international appearances between them will appear for the All-Stars in the 10-team tournament.

The All-Stars will join nine representative international teams Australia, New Zealand, England, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and hosts Hong Kong.

First held in 1992, the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes is the sport's longest-running, best-established and most high-profile sixes tournament.

Gatting is looking forward to what promises to be another memorable weekend at the Kowloon Cricket Club.

Sixes is tremendous fun for the fans and the players really enjoy it, he said. The games are fast and furious and everyone gets involved. Its also a great way of introducing the sport to new fans.

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