In a major boost for cricket in Papua New Guinea, HEBOU PNG Barramundis’ Captain and batting star, Assad Vala departed for Hong Kong this week to compete for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz which will take place from 9-12th March in Hong Kong.
Vala will be one of five international cricket stars playing for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the Twenty20 Franchise competition which includes Kumar Sangakarra (Sri Lanka), Jesse Ryder (New Zealand), Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan) and Seekkuge Prasana (Sri Lanka).
The other major international cricketers that will be taking part in the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz will be Pakistani cricketers Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Misbah Ul-Hap, West Indian cricketers Samuel Bandree, Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy, English Ashes winning hero Ian Bell, former Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, former South African Captain Johan Botha and New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin.
DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz is a Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament scheduled to hold its second edition from March 8-12 in 2017. The tournament has extended to a five-team competition from the inaugural four with the event held over five days at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground in Mong Kok. The Hong Kong T20 Blitz brings the world’s best short form players together the with the premier local domestic cricket talent.
There is also a focus on developing Associate Cricket, with each team required to select at least one overseas player from a non-full member nation. A total of five overseas players per team will be permitted in the 2017 tournament, up from 3 in a playing XI in 2016.
This is the first time that any PNG cricketer has been selected in a professional cricket competition in the world. HEBOU PNG Barramundis’ players Assad Vala (Brisbane Heat), Charles Amini Jnr (Sydney Sixers) and Lega Siaka (Melbourne Renegades) all received Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League Rookie Contracts in the past but never actually played a game.
Vala’s Galaxy Gladitators Lantau will take on Hum Hom JD Jaguars in the opening match of the DC Hong Kong T20 Blitz on Wednesday 8th March, 2017.
Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka), Jesse Ryder (New Zealand), Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan), Seekkuge Prasanna (Sri Lanka), Assad Vala (PNG), Anshuman Rath, Mohammad Awais, Mo Khan, Sourav Kumar, Haseeb Amjad, Daniyal Bukhari, Courtney Kruger, Karandeep Singh, Arshad Haroon Mohammad, Ishaq Ibraheem Muhammad, Jason Lui
Hong Kong Island United
Misbah Ul-Haq (Pakistan) (C), Ian Bell (England), Samuel Badree (West Indies), Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan), George Munsey (Scotland), Jamie Atkinson, Tanwir Afzaal, Ehsan Khan, Daniel Pascoe, Kyle Christie, Moner Dar, Muhammad Balal, Devang Bulsara, Rory Caines, Ady Lee, Anas Khan
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Kyle Coetzer (Scotland), Nicholas Pooran (West Indies), Rayad Emrit (West Indies), Chris Jordan (England), Aizaz Khan (c), Nadeem Ahmed, Gareth Harte, Ryan Buckley, Waqas Barkat, Raag Kapur, Akbar Khan, Niaz Ali, Ankur Sharma, Sheryar Saeed, Siegfried Wai.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Dwayne Smith (West Indies), Marlon Samuels (West Indies), Yasir Arafat (Pakistan), Calum MacLeod (Scotland), Babar Hayat (c), Tanveer Ahmed, Shahid Wasif, Waqas Khan, Isaac Pool, Ehsan Nawaz, Ahsan Abassi, Li Kai Min, Muddasar Hussain, Angus Robson
Hum Hom JD Jaguars
Darren Sammy (West Indies), Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan), Mohammad Naveed (UAE), James Franklin (New Zealand), Johan Botha (South Africa), Kinchit Shah (C), Ninad Shah, Nizakat Khan, Chris Carter (WKT), Imran Arif, Simandeep Singh, Sikander Zafar, Ashley Caddy, Skhawat Ali, Vishal Sharma
Wednesday 8th March 10:00am Hung Hom JD Jaguars vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Wednesday 8th March 02:00pm City Kaitak vs Kowloon Cantons
Thursday 9th March 10:00am Hung Hom JD Jaguars vs HKI United
Thursday 9th March 02:00pm Galaxy Gladiators Lantau vs City Kaitak
Friday 10th March 10:00am HKI United vs Galaxy Gladiators Lantau
Friday 10th March 02:00pm Kowloon Cantons vs Hung Hom JD Jaguars
Saturday 11th March 07:45am Kowloon Cantons vs HKI United
Saturday 11th March 11:25am City Kaitak vs Hung Hom JD Jaguars
Saturday 11th March 03:05pm Galaxy Gladiators Lantau vs Kowloon Cantons
Sunday 12th March 10:00am HKI United vs City Kaitak
Sunday 12th March 02:00pm Grand Final