Hong Kong have called up 17-year-old Giacomo Lamplough to their squad for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier after batsman Waqas Barkat was ruled out of the tournament due to visa complications. Lamplough is a part of Hong Kong's development squad for the 2015-16 season.
Charlie Burke, Hong Kong's director of cricket, said that the selection was an exciting moment for Lamplough who has been recognised as a "prodigious junior talent".
"I really feel for Waqas. As a former vice-captain he is a key member of the squad. I know how disappointed he is. However, he understands the situation and has accepted it with grace," Burke said. "On the upside, this is an exciting moment for Giacomo who has been known throughout the Hong Kong cricket community as a prodigious junior talent over his formative years, receiving the HKCA's Junior Player of the Year this season whilst also performing at the highest level in senior cricket. He is one of the best fielders I have ever seen and even though he has been with us as a development player so far here in the UK, I know the boys cannot wait to welcome him officially into the group."
Burke added that Lamplough had gained significant experience during his stints with the Hong Kong Cricket Club and the Craigengower Cricket Club, playing matches in New Zealand, Singapore, England and Australia over the last 18 months.
Hong Kong will arrive in Scotland on July 3 for their official practice matches against Netherlands and Afghanistan on July 6 and 7 respectively. They are drawn in Group A and will play Ireland, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Namibia and USA after their opening game against Jersey on July 11. The top four teams in each of the two groups will progress to the quarter finals, and the top six qualify for the group stages of the ICC World Twenty 20 to be held in India in 2016. Hong Kong played their first World T20 in 2014, but failed to progress beyond the group round.