Sri Lanka, South Africa, Netherlands confirm teams for HK Cricket 6s

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka’s Chamara Kapugedara will be able to remind his country’s selectors of his worth as an attacking batsmen when he returns with a strong Sri Lankan lineup for the KARP Group Hong Kong Sixes at the Kowloon Cricket Club this weekend.

 Kapugedara, who has represented Sri Lanka in all forms of the game, was overlooked by the selectors for the recent ICC World Twenty20 where the islanders reached the final before losing to the West Indies.

That inexplicable defeat, chasing only 138 runs for victory, will offer Kapugedara the opportunity to get back into the national side and a huge performance in Hong Kong will help his chances.

Kapugedara, 25, was once regarded as Sri Lanka’s most-promising young batsman. He has played eight Tests (scoring 418 runs) and 92 One-Day Internationals (1,521 runs) as well as 21 Twenty20 internationals where he has an impressive strike rate of 115.23.

But the inability to press on and make a sizeable contribution in recent times has resulted in him being axed from the national set-up.

The Hong Kong Sixes will give Kapugedara the opportunity to get back into the focus of the Sri Lankan selectors with the islanders likely to be in strong contention for the Cup competition.

Sri Lanka will be led by Jehan Mubarak, who was also captain of the team at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou when cricket made its debut. The rest of the squad comprises promising young cricketers Chamith Kulasekara, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Kusal Matharage Don, Sachith Pathirana and Ramith Rambukwella.

Sri Lanka has performed consistently at the Hong Kong Sixes but has only won the Cup on one occasion, in 2007 when they defeated a Shane Warne-led All Stars outfit that also included Brian Lara. South Africa has achieved greater success at the Sixes, winning the event in 2006 and 2009, which would suggest that 2012 may be their year once again.

With players of the caliber of captain Colin Ingram, Dillon Du Preez and Rory Kleinveldt – all big-hitting batsmen – it all points to South Africa once again being a force to reckon with.

But the real danger could come from fast bowler Wayne Parnell, a member of the South Africa squad at the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. Parnell, 23, is an impressive left-arm seam bowler who has played three Tests and 27 One-Day Internationals for his country. A naturally gifted all-rounder, Parnell has also played a couple of seasons in the IPL.

In 2009, he became the youngest player to be awarded a central contract by Cricket South Africa and has lived up to that promise with several useful performances, especially in the shortened form of the game.

Parnell will be joined by Lyall Meyer, David Miller and Khayelihle Zondo in a squad that can go all the way, and will be relying on Du Preez and Meyer to provide the experience, both having played in this event last year. It will be mostly a first-time experience for most of the men in orange – the Netherlands.

Peter Drinnen will lead the top associate member country and he can rely on the experienced Peter Borren and Pieter Seelaar for a helping hand as the Dutch bid to make a lasting impression.

Wesley Barresi, Michael Swart, Alexei Kervezee, Mudassar Burkari and Stephanus Myburgh make up the rest of an extended squad. All of them are regulars in the national team that plays in the ICC Division One competition alongside the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan.

The Dutch will be up against it though, being placed in a tough draw alongside defending champions Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in Pool B.

All three teams from the sub-continent will be clear-cut favourites to enter the Cup semi-final stages and will be looking at the game against the Dutch as the one where they can raise their net run-rates.

And with players like Kapugedara amongst the opposition, looking forward to rehabilitating himself in the senior Sri Lankan team, one can expect no favours this weekend. Everyone will be hoping to go Dutch.

Sri Lanka squad: Jehan Mubarak (Captain), Chamara Kapugedara, Chamith Kulasekara, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Kusal Matharage Don, Sachith Pathirana, Ramith Rambukwella and Channa Weerakkody (Manager).

South Africa squad: Colin Ingram (Captain), Dillon Du Preez, Rory Kleinveldt, Lyall Meyer, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Khayelihle Zondo and Vincent Barnes (Manager).

Netherlands squad: Peter Drinnen (Captain), Peter Borren, Pieter Seelaar, Stephanus Myburgh, Mudassar Burkari, Alexei Kervezee, Michael Swart, Wesley Barresi and Ed Van Neirop (Manager).

Ticketing details

Public stand tickets for Hong Kong crickets’ annual showpiece are still available for the Karp Group Hong Kong Sixes, however, with capacity set at 2,000 this year, the event is expected to sell out before the event. Ticket packages are as follows:

Weekend package HK$ 800 (adults), HK$ 380 (children)

Saturday only HK$ 310 (adults), HK$ 180 (children)

Sunday only HK$ 550 (adults), HK$ 220 (children)