Assad Vala playing for the Galaxy Gladiatators Lantau (Source: Cricket Hong Kong/Takumi Photography)
HEBOU PNG Barramundis’ Captain and batting star, Assad Vala will be returning home to Port Moresby tomorrow after competing in his first DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau failed to make the final of the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz after managing only one victory in their four (4) round robin matches throughout the competition, but Vala was more than happy with this experience when he spoke to Cricket PNG this afternoon.
“First of all, it was a great experience playing in a tournament like this. I never thought that I’d be in the same dressing room with (Brian) Lara, Kumar (Sangakarra), (Jesse) Ryder as well as play against some international stars such as Misbah (ul-Haq), (Saeed) Ajmal, (Samuel) Badree, (Chis) Jordan, (Darren (Sammy), (Marlon) Samuels and (Dwayne) Smith,” said Vala.
“I loved every bit of it and being around them and learning from them was an unbeliable experience. They were great in helping me if I was asking or wanted to know something about the game. They gave some great advice that hopefully I can use to help my game going forward,” concluded Vala.
Kawloon Cantons were eventually crowned champions of the DTC Hong Kong Blitz after defeating City Kaitak in the final by 25 runs yesterday.
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.
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