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'There is no pressure on Hong Kong'

Mohammad Isam

March 10, 2014

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Jamie Atkinson scored an unbeaten 63, Canada v Hong Kong, World Cup 2015 qualifiers, Rangiora, January 17, 2014
Jamie Atkinson top-scored for Hong Kong in the World T20 Qualifiers with 241 runs © IDI/Getty
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Players/Officials: Jamie Atkinson
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: Hong Kong

Hong Kong will play in the first round of the World T20s without any pressure, according to Jamie Atkinson, the team's captain. Atkinson feels that this mindset will be troublesome for their opponents.

"Bangladesh are the favorites in our group," Atkinson said. "There is no pressure on us; at least that's how we are going to think about it. It is quite a dangerous thing for our opponents.

"It is a great moment for Hong Kong to qualify for the World T20 for the first time. We have had some good preparation. We have been in Sri Lanka for 10-12 days. We moved to Dubai in the last week or so, where we played against other Associate members."

Hong Kong head into the World T20 having beaten Italy, Uganda, Namibia and USA in last year's qualifiers tournament. They suffered defeats to UAE and Ireland, but in the playoff semi-final, they defeated Papua New Guinea to take the fifth spot available for the main tournament in Bangladesh.

Atkinson was the team's leading scorer in the qualifying tournament, making 241 with two fifties. Waqas Barkat also scored more than 200 runs, while veteran left-arm spinner Munir Dar picked up 17 wickets. Dar, however, will not be able to bowl as he was suspended by the ICC for 12 months in January. Still, his batting will come in handy, mainly due to his experience of playing in the Dhaka Premier League in 2007-08 for Old DOHS Club.

Atkinson also said that his team will take inspiration from Afghanistan's victory over Bangladesh in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, believing that the win showed how the two levels of cricket are inching closer to each other.

"It is great for associates that Afghanistan got that win against Bangladesh," he said. "It shows the gap is closing between Associates and Full Member countries. I think it is excellent for cricket as a whole."

Before heading into the main tournament, Hong Kong will play two warm-up matches against Zimbabwe and Netherlands on February 12 and 16 respectively.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by android_user on (March 12, 2014, 5:25 GMT)

@indiasupbangalore we, in Hong Kong, aren't natives but we are just as passionate of the game of cricket. we play cricket because we miss home so why not represent our new home? most of us are born here can communicate with the locals. Anyways if u grew up in Hong Kong u would understand that many locals are not in support of cricket and usually complain to the police as they consider cricket to be dangerous and yet look where our level of cricket has reached

Posted by F.Flintstone on (March 11, 2014, 11:13 GMT)

Don't assume because the HK team aren't Chinese that they aren't native. The HK captain for example was born and grew up in HK.

Posted by indiasupbangalore on (March 11, 2014, 6:57 GMT)

For me I don't really like the teams from uae and hong kong just for the simple reason they do not represent the native population but are put together by the expat population who has settled there, it is shame papua new genie a totally native team had to loose to HK. For the same reason, I would support ireland, afghanistan, nepal any day. I want BD to do well, the passionate fans of BD deserve better from their team.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 10, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

I have close friends and relatives living in Kowloon. I bet they are all supporting Team HK this World T20. After India, my support is for Afghanistan, Ireland, HK and Nepal. I will be happy if at least 2 associate teams qualify for round 2. Best wishes Hong Kong !

Posted by android_user on (March 10, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

welcome guys to T20 WORLD - from SL

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