Excited to face Hong Kong, we know that they have a lot of quality individually and collectively, says Waqar Younis
Hong Kong, which has just completed a clean sweep of both its ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC World Cricket League Championship matches against the UAE, is switching its focus to the shortest format of the game as it prepares for the ICC World Twenty20 2016, in India.
Hong Kong is currently 10th in the T20I rankings, one spot above Full Member Bangladesh, and is aiming to make an impression on the world’s second-ranked twenty20 team.
Pakistan has four bowlers and three batsmen ranked in the top 50, while Mark Chapman and captain Tanwir Afzed are Hong Kong’s highest ranked batsman and bowler, at 78th and 87th, respectively.
However, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis believes his side will be up for a tough encounter against Hong Kong. “It is clear to see the great strides that are being made among the emerging teams in world cricket.”
“We are excited to face Hong Kong, as they are relatively new opponents, but we know that they have a lot of quality individually and collectively. (The) game will also present us with opportunities to adapt to the shorter formats of the game coming off the back of a challenging Test series against England.
The former fast bowler, who represented Pakistan in 87 Tests and 262 ODIs, said the match would form as crucial preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 2016. “We are also mindful that the Hong Kong game especially will provide great opportunities to our players with the ICC World Twenty20 2016 now just a few short months away.”
Hong Kong will be making its second appearance at the ICC World Twenty20, after its maiden appearance in Bangladesh in 2014, and Hong Kong captain Tanwir is confident that his team will perform well against the number-two side. “We’ve got a very good record in twenty20 cricket.
Pakistan is number two in the world, but we will give them a good fight. I think it will be a tough match.”
He continued: “We’ve had some great results in the last 18 months. We beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh at the ICC World Twenty20 in 2014, and then at this year’s qualifier (for the next World Twenty20), we beat top teams like Ireland and Netherlands. We will continue to get better and better, and matches like this, against Full Members, will help us do that.”
The two sides will face off in the twenty20 match at ICC Academy 1 in Dubai on Monday at 1400 local time.
Remaining tour schedule:
23 November: Hong Kong v Pakistan, ICC Academy 1, Dubai (Twenty20 match)
25 November: Hong Kong v Oman, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)
26 November: Hong Kong v Oman, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)
28 November: Hong Kong v Afghanistan, Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi (Twenty20 International)