City Kaitak in HK T20 Blitz
The second DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz is due to get underway on March 8th running until March 12th with all eleven games being held at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground. Mikey Godsmark will be doing a team by team preview with City Kaitak, one of two new sides, first under the microscope.
City Kaitak will be taking part in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz for the first time this year and they are already establishing themselves as part of Hong Kong cricketing culture. Owned by the City Group, they aim to help make the Blitz ‘an internationally renowned tournament’ and they have also sought to help the development of youth cricket in Hong Kong through coaching programmes aimed at younger people. With five top quality overseas players as well as some solid domestic picks, City Kaitak will hope to make their inaugural season a winning one.
Hong Kong opening bowler Aizaz Khan captains the side as he was one of City Kaitak’s three early picks along with Nadeem Ahmed and Gareth Harte who plays in England for Sussex 2nd XI and also domestically in Hong Kong. In the draft their main picks were; Ryan Buckley, who played for MCC Young Cricketers alongside Harte in 2016, Waqas Barkat, a leg-spinner who travelled to the Desert T20, and Siegfried Wai, who is an all-rounder for the all Chinese Hong Kong Dragons. Whilst lacking any of Hong Kong’s star batsmen, their squad has a fair amount of depth bowling wise compared to other sides.
Any shortcomings in their domestic batting is attempted to be made up by City Kaitak’s overseas imports. Their first name to be announced was Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, who opened the batting for his country at the World T20. Young West Indies wicket-keeper-batsman , Nicolas Pooran may not be the most high profile name at the tournament but he has BPL experience with the Khulna Titans. Also from the West Indies is Rayad Emrit, an experienced seam bowler with two ODI caps for his country.
City Kaitak’s associate pick is Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, who has been in solid form for his nation recently and will be keen to show how associate players are just as valuable picks as some of the world’s best. The final and most exciting pick for the side is England’s specialist death bowler Chris Jordan, who was recently snapped up in the IPL auction by Sunrisers Hyderabad and his bowling will be key in the last few overs, considering the small size of the boundaries.
With a huge amount of bowling options, Kaitak will not struggle to allocate their 20 overs. Batting may prove a bit more of a concern with the only three top quality specialist batsmen in the form of Coetzer, Dilshan and Pooran in the squad. If Jordan, Harte and Buckley (who scored 199 last summer for Sussex 2XI) can perform with the bat, then they have a chance but I do fear for their batting frailties.
Prediction: Don’t have the batting depth to make the most of the small boundaries. 4th.
Overseas players: Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL), Kyle Coetzer (Sco), Nicholas Pooran (WI), Rayad Emrit (WI), Chris Jordan (Eng)
Domestic Players: Aizaz Khan (c), Nadeem Ahmed, Gareth Harte, Ryan Buckley, Waqas Barkat, Raag Kapur, Akbar Khan, Niaz Ali, Ankur Sharma, Sheryar Saeed, Siegfried Wai.