Asia Cup 2018 Team Guide: Anshy Rath's Hong Kong have their work cut out in the UAE

Denzil Pinto 09:48 14/09/2018
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For Hong Kong, there’s been little time to rest since they booked their berth in the Asia Cup. A week ago, they stunned favourites UAE by two-wickets in Malaysia to claim the last remaining berth and set up two glamourous ties with heavyweights India and Pakistan.

Having lost their One Day International (ODI) status earlier this year, the ICC confirmed all their games in the Emirates will be ODIs – just like in 2004 and 2008 editions when they last qualified.

Here, we take a closer look at Hong Kong ahead of their participation in Dubai.

COACH  – SIMON COOK

Having worked his way up from a bowling coach, the former Middlesex and Kent fast-bowler has been at the helm for three years. Lost ODI status during that time but qualification to the Asia Cup shows he possesses the knowledge to make HK competitive.

Simon Cook has been head coach for three years

Simon Cook has been head coach for three years

CAPTAIN – ANSHY RATH

The fact that he is just 20 and is captain tells you how highly rated he is. With more than 35 international caps, he has scored big runs against ODI nations UAE (102), Nepal (52) and Zimbabwe (85) this year alone.

Hong Kong's batsman Anshuman Rath was named captain last month

Hong Kong’s batsman Anshuman Rath was named captain last month

STAR MAN– BABAR HAYAT

Since debuting in 2014, Babar Hayat is one of the most experienced members in the squad. The ex-captain’s record of eight fifties in 20 ODIs is a prime example that he can score crucial runs on his day.

Hong Kong's batsman Babar Hayat

Hong Kong’s batsman Babar Hayat

ONE TO WATCH – AIZAZ KHAN

The 25-year-old medium-pacer arrives in Dubai in fantastic form, picking up five wickets in the Qualifier final to rattle the UAE batsmen. His ODI figures are even more impressive considering he has 15 wickets in 17 appearances.

STRENGTHS – BOWLERS

Sterner tests await in Dubai but in four out of the six games in the Qualifier, Hong Kong managed to bowl out the opposition which should give the minnows some confidence.

WEAKNESSES – LACK OF EXPERIENCE AT TOP LEVEL

Cook can call on a talented squad but opportunities of playing against the elite has been very limited for the majority of the squad.

PREDICTION – GROUP STAGE EXIT

Drawn alongside heavyweights India and Pakistan, Hong Kong have their work cut out of making the Super Four stage.

FULL SQUAD: Anshuman Rath(c), Aizaz Khan, Babar Hayat, Cameron McAulsan, Christopher Carter, Ehsan Khan, Ehsan Nawaz, Arshad Mohammad, Kinchit Shah, Nadeem Ahmed, Raag Kapur, Scott McKechnie, Tanveer Ahmed, Tanwir Afzal, Waqas Khan, Aftab Hussain

SCHEDULE: 

GROUP STAGE – MATCH ONE

September 16: Hong Kong v Pakistan, Dubai, 15:30

September 18: Hong Kong v India, Dubai, 15:30

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