Hong Kong pick ex-Australia keeper Campbell for WT20
Hong Kong have included 43-year-old former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Campbell in their squad for the upcoming World Twenty20, which starts from March 8 in India.
Campbell, who has a Hong Kong-Chinese lineage, played two ODIs for Australia in 2002 and has been a part of Hong Kong's domestic set-up since 2012. He is also the national team's current batting coach.
Campbell had moved to the territory in 2012 to take up a role as head coach at the Kowloon Cricket Club, which he also represented as a player. He scored 160 runs in five matches, including two fifties, for Kowloon CC in the Hong Kong Premier League one-day Tournament in September-October last year.
"I'm there to mentor them as I have done for so long," he said. "It has been a while (since I played international cricket), but if you look at my numbers I think I'm still one of the best batsmen in Hong Kong. Brad Hogg is still going around for the Scorchers and I must admit he's inspired me a bit to say age is just a number."
The squad for the World T20 also includes James Atkinson who, like Campbell, does not feature in the 15-member team for the Asia Cup. Medium-pacer Adil Mehmood and 19-year-old allrounder Ninad Shah have been picked for the Asia Cup, where Hong Kong will first have to play a qualifying tournament that starts from February 19. Both squads will be led by Tanwir Afzal.
Hong Kong coach Simon Cook said that Campbell's experience would help Hong Kong deal more clearly with high-pressure situations on the field. "His form in Hong Kong has been good in Premier League and Sunday games for Kowloon Cricket Club," Cook said. "One of the things that we learned about our last World T20 tournament is that having that ability to think clearly in high pressure situations is critical and Ryan's experience will be an enormous help in that regard."
The qualifying tournament for the Asia Cup will be played between February 19 and 22. Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Oman and UAE will play each other to decide the one Associate who will advance to the main draw involving the region's four Full Member teams. Hong Kong will then kick off their World T20 campaign with a first-round match against Zimbabwe in Nagpur on March 8.
Hong Kong squad for Asia Cup: Tanwir Afzal (capt), Mark Chapman (vice-capt), Haseeb Amjad, Nadeem Ahmed, Tanwir Ahmed, Waqas Barkat, Christopher Carter, Babar Hayat, Nizakat Khan, Aizaz Khan, Waqas Khan, Adil Mehmood, Kinchit Shah, Ninad Shah, Anshuman Rath.
Hong Kong squad for World T20: Tanwir Afzal (capt), Mark Chapman (vice-capt), Haseeb Amjad, Nadeem Ahmed, Tanwir Ahmed, James Atkinson, Waqas Barkat, Ryan Campbell, Christopher Carter, Babar Hayat, Nizakat Khan, Aizaz Khan, Waqas Khan, Kinchit Shah, Anshuman Rath.