With the firm belief that this is their year,
Hong Kong will be going all out to set the 2012 Karp Group Hong
Kong Sixes alight from the very first ball with the home team
scheduled to play in the first game on Saturday (27 October 2012)
against 2010 champions Australia (08.30).
“This could be Hong Kong’s year and we really
can win the Hong Kong Sixes for the first time,” said Hong Kong
coach Charlie Burke. “We have a stronger team than last year and
having come close on a couple of occasions I think we can go all
the way this time.”
It will be all about momentum according to
Burke, and as such winning the opening pool encounter against
Australia will take on added significance in the eight-team
“Both pools are tough and there is little room
for error. The Hong Kong Sixes is all about momentum. If you win
your first match, it will boost the confidence of the side,” Burke
Hong Kong came close to winning the event in
2009 when they stormed into the final with wins over India and
England only to falter against a determined South Africa. Last
year, Hong Kong reached the Cup semi-finals underlining the fact
that the hosts are no longer pushovers.
“We have a stronger outfit than last year. Last
year’s captain Najeeb Amar has retired and his place has been
Irfan Ahmed who returns after missing out last year. Then
we have Jamie Atkinson replacing Peter Wooden,” Burke said. “This
is Jamie’s debut at the Hong Kong Sixes and he is determined to do
well. He has had a fantastic last 12 months as captain of Hong
Kong and will want to continue the good work ... Irfan’s return
will boost the side. He is hungry and determined for Hong Kong to
win. Then we have guys like Tanwir Afzal, who is a smart cricketer
and very committed, who is bowling well and batting superbly, and
veterans like Moner Dar who gets better and better with age.”
Hong Kong will have the benefit of playing two
of their three pool matches early, having been drawn to meet South
Africa in the third game of the opening day (10.00). Their final
pool game will be against five-time champions England (14.30pm).
All three opponents will be tough.
will field a young side with Tim Armstrong providing the
experience. The young blood will be keen to make the most of this
opportunity and be determined to follow in the footsteps of David
Warner who made his mark at the Hong Kong Sixes before going on to
represent Australia in One-day internationals and Twenty20.
South Africa will depend heavily on the likes of
Wayne Parnell and Colin Ingram as they bid to add a third Cup
title to the ones they won in 2009 and 2006. South Africa will
open against the hosts Hong Kong on Saturday before facing
Australia at 13.00 and England in the penultimate match of day one
Joshua Cobb and Tom Smith will provide the
know-how for a seasoned bunch of county professionals as England
go in hunt of title number six and make amends for their loss in
last year’s Cup final to Pakistan.
“In previous years the England team has been
very competitive in Hong Kong and have done very well in the
competition. Our goal is to go one better than last year and we
are very focused on achieving that target,” said England manager
England’s chances will be buoyed by its Pool
grouping alongside Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong in Pool
A, while the other half of the draw is even more challenging with
sub-continent rivals India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the mix
along with top associate nation the Netherlands.
Defending champions Pakistan will open their
campaign against the Netherlands before the excitement ramps up as
they take on India (15.15pm) and finish off the first day’s
competition in what promises to be a barnburner against Sri Lanka
Led by wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal,
Pakistan will look to exciting new fast-bowling prospect Junaid
Khan for inspiration. Junaid, 22, burst on to the scene earlier
this year when he showed the country’s famed left-arm fast bowling
production line is still continuing to produce by taking a five
wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the test series in the Emirates.
The mercurial Pakistanis will have a battle on
their hands when they come up against India in a match that is
already being billed as the highlight of day one’s action.
India are fielding a side especially selected
for the Sixes format and one bristling with players from the IPL
under the captaincy of Praveen Kumar. As always expectations will
be high from fans from both sides and this encounter once again
will be a no-holds barred contest.
But watch out for Sri Lanka who has proven they
could be dangerous like back in 2008 when they crushed a Shane
Warne-led All Stars outfit to win their one and only Cup title.
Sri Lanka’s day one matches see them open
against the Netherlands at 10.45. The Sri Lankans will be looking for
a fast start to get a positive run rate started, as the triple
threats of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will likely be battling
for spots to advance to the Cup competition from Pool B.
Sri Lanka’s final two matches are against India
at 13.45 and the final day one match versus Pakistan at 16.45.
Other 2012 Hong Kong
Cricket Sixes-related stories:
South Africa Beats Pakistan to Win 2012 Hong Kong Sixes,
Pakistan On Course for Record 6th Hong Kong Cricket Sixes Title,
Brad Hodge to Captain Australia @ HK Sixes,
Hong Kong to Play Australia in First Game of HK Cricket Sixes this
India Names Strong Team for 2012 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes,
Sri Lanka, South Africa and Netherlands Confirm Teams for HK Sixes,
Irfan Ahmed Returns to Hong Kong Team for HK Cricket Sixes,
8 Countries to Compete in this Weekend's Hong Kong Cricket Sixes
HD Videos from Hong Kong Cricket Sixes 2012
Pictures from the 2012 Hong Kong Sixes.
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