Hung Hom JD Jaguars in HKT20 Blitz
Returning to the Blitz for a second year running, Hung Hom JD Jaguars will hope to have enough of a balance in their squad to reach the final, which they failed to do last year.
Not only having goals to win the tournament, the Jaguars also wish ‘to promote the importance of having desires, dedication and discipline’ amongst the youth of Hong Kong and their overseas stars most definitely have the potential to inspire. They are owned by Hong Kong Jaguars Sports Limited and will certainly entertain.
Hung Hom’s captain will be retained pick Kinchit Shah who has fallen out of the Hong Kong squad after a succession of low scores and will not travel to the ACC Emerging Nations Cup. The same is true for his brother and vice-captain: Ninad Shah. The 20 year old played his only game for Hong Kong in the I-Cup match against Ireland but failed to seize his chance and was dropped. Their final retained pick is of a much higher quality, destructive batsman and leg-spinner Nizakat Khan will be central to their plans.
In the draft the Jaguars picked well. Young Hong Kong opening batter and wicketkeeper Chris Carter was the side’s first pick after a breakthrough series against Netherlands where he looked increasingly accomplished with the bat. Their next pick was Pakistani seam bowler Imran Arif who, despite having a fair amount of County Championship experience, has a T20 economy of 9.10. The 38 year old Damien Yee will be the Chinese pick for Hung Hom.
The headline pick for the Jaguars and one of the biggest stars of the tournament is bowling all-rounder Darren Sammy who is, at the time of writing, in Lahore for the PSL final. He’ll be playing, in that match for Peshawar Zalmi, alongside Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistani off-spinning all-rounder who will also play for the Jaguars at the Blitz. New Zealander James Franklin is yet another all-rounder for Hung Hom and the Middlesex captain brings with him a experience of the Bangladesh Premier League.
South African John Botha is another overseas pick for the Jaguars that might consider himself an all-rounder, although his off-break bowling would have to be considered his strong suit. He bowled well for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL and is another feather in the cap of Hung Hom’s spin bowling department. The Jaguars’ associate slot is filled by medium pacer Mohammad Naveed who returns after playing for Hung Hom at last year’s Blitz.
All five of Hung Hom’s overseas players can bowl well, giving them one of the best attacks in the tournament. However, their batting may be a bit more of a problem. Nizakat Khan is high quality and Chris Carter is looking increasingly able with the bat but the rest of their domestic pool of players is looking limited on the batting front. Whilst all of their overseas players can bat, none of them are specialists and this could be where the Jaguars struggle.
Prediction: Bowling good, batting lacking top quality. 3rd
Overseas players: Darren Sammy (WI), Mohammad Hafeez (Pak), Mohammad Naveed (UAE), James Franklin (NZ), Johan Botha (RSA/Syd Sixers)
Domestic Players: Kinchit Shah (Capt), Ninad Shah (Vice Captain), Nizakat Khan, Chris Carter, (Wicketkeeper), Imran Arif, Simandeep Singh, Sikander Zafar, Ashley Caddy, Skhawat Ali, Damien Yee, Vishal Sharma