Hong Kong Sixes 2017!

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Having mentioned this previously, it’s only fair that I bring to attention that the Hong Kong Sixes tournament has commenced today. My interest in this competition is not as high as I’d anticipated because the ‘England’ team is flying under the flag of the MCC and not as England. This might seem petty but it only highlights the lack of seriousness with which this competition allows itself to be taken when it could be of great value. Ryan Higgins, Jordan Clark and company might never play for England but I’m sure that they’d gain pride and be motivated by wearing the England shirt in this tournament. It’s the sort of approach that confirms the hierarchy of English cricket maintain a stuffiness and desire to keep English cricket in a bygone era.

If you do want to follow proceedings then I think you can watch it all live (Assuming you have a licence of course!) right here…

http://www.hkcricket.org/en/media/news/hong-kong-world-sixes-day-one-live

Hong Kong Sixes 2017: England Squad?

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The Hong Kong Sixes tournament is back on the cricket calendar after a five-year absence. The pint-sized cricket competition will make a welcome return this October.

http://www.hkcricket.org/en/hk-sixes/hong-kong-sixes-2017

Historically the various cricketing nations around the globe have treated the tournament with a variety of seriousness and not so seriousness, with some teams sending amateurs or ex-pros. England normally send a reasonable bunch of fringe limited overs players.

Silly Point has composed an England squad and put forward one or two other possible candidates as well. Remember that every player bar the wicketkeeper must bowl.

My squad is as follows:

Tim Bresnan, Yorkshire (Captain)

He bats, he bowls, he captains, he’s my selection to lead the side. I find it difficult to comprehend that Bresnan’s England career is over. He required surgery and is no longer the spring chicken that rocked up for Yorkshire’s first XI aged 15 but in limited overs cricket at least, he could surely still have a role to play for the national side. He’s led Yorkshire this year following injury to Gary Ballance and the other squad members would learn from his international experience and professionalism.

Ben Duckett, Northamptonshire (Wicketkeeper)

Duckett just pips Joe Clarke for the ‘keeping gloves. It would be a good way to reintegrate Duckett into England colours following a difficult winter. After a slow start to the domestic season he has started to make significant contributions with the bat as well as keeping wicket on occasions. Sam Billings, more of a genuine gloveman option in T20I/ODI cricket could also come into consideration.

Lewis Gregory, Somerset

Gregory made the England squad a few years back for a one-off ODI against Ireland. Unfortunately for the Somerset man, he was the one squad member to miss out on the final XI leaving him cap-less. A series of injuries have meant that he remains so but when fit Gregory possesses the all-round strengths that make him an extremely tempting selection in this format.

Ryan Higgins, Middlesex

Higgins has contributed some brutal batting displays for Middlesex in limited overs cricket this term and has also dislodged Ollie Rayner from the County Championship side. The Zimbabwe born former England Under-19s player is one of a handful of capable all-round players that make my squad.

Benny Howell, Gloucestershire

A shrewd performer for Gloucestershire, particularly in the shorter forms of the game. French born Howell has cropped up in both the BPL and PSL. His experience and all-round capabilities would make him a valuable asset to the the squad.

Liam Livingstone, Lancashire

LL’s introduction to international cricket was slightly underwhelming but he’s an almost irresistible selection for this tournament. His destructive batting, much improved bowling and reliable fielding win him a place in my squad. Like Bresnan, Livingstone has gained captaincy experience this season and is capable of coming back stronger following his tough international baptism.

Ross Whiteley, Worcestershire

Whiteley hit the headlines this term when he struck six sixes in an over against Yorkshire in a T20 match (I was there, remember?). Yes it was an extremely short boundary and yes it was a third choice spinner but rather audaciously, Whiteley sits in the top ten of the sixes per (T20) match ratio, modestly and unobtrusively placed alongside the likes of Brendon McCullum, David Warner and Chris Gayle. He would probably be the weakest bowling option in the team but has clocked up 29 First Class victims.

Some other players that could come into consideration:

Adam Lyth

Riki Wessels (Wicketkeeper)

Brett D’Oliveira

Liam Dawson

Paul Coughlin

Craig Overton

Tymal Mills

Extras

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Extras is back and we’ve got an eastern theme this time at the crease.

Bye: The Hong Kong T20 Blitz is a tournament that is attracting big names such as Michael Clarke, Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakarra to the orient and can surely serve as an inspiration to countries such as USA. Following last year’s inaugural event, two new franchises have been added making a grand total of six teams participating in the tournament in the orient in 2017.

http://www.hkcricket.org/en

Leg Bye: The Hong Kong Sixes are also due to make a long awaited return to the cricketing calendar in 2017. England have actually won the most tournaments, joint topping the list alongside Pakistan with five victories.

http://www.scmp.com/sport/hong-kong/article/2005194/howzat-hong-kong-cricket-sixes-will-return-2017-part-grand

No Ball: I’m currently in the midst of leading an England side in a Test match against Hong Kong on Don Bradman Cricket 17 but you’ll have to wait until the completion of what should (Could?) be an epic match for a detailed report. Let’s just say that we’ll need to bat better in our second innings than we did in our first!

Wide: Err, anything else I can think of about Hong Kong… Dermot Reeve!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/19364.html