The third annual Hong Kong T20 Blitz starts today, with a host of international stars turning out for the competition, including Big Bash League finalists.
Having started out as a weekend event, the tournament has grown to a six-day T20 league that is rapidly gaining prominence on the international calendar, and will be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app.
Five teams play 11 matches over the six days at the Tin Kwong Recreation Ground, the venue that has hosted previous editions of the tournament.
The five teams taking part are last year’s winners the Kowloon Cantons, runners-up City Kaitak, the Hong Kong Island United, the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and the Hung Hom JD Jaguars.
Big Bash sensation Jofra Archer will play for Lantau this year, fresh from his starring role in the Hobart Hurricanes run to the BBL|07 final.
Adelaide Strikers' title winner Ben Laughlin will also feature, turning out for the Jaguars, while other international players include West Indies stars Dwayne Smith (Kowloon) and Darren Sammy (Hung Hom), Pakistan's Sohail Tanvir (City Kaitak), Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara (Lantau), England allrounder Ravi Bopara (City Kaitak) and Ryan ten Doeschate (HKI United).Between them they boast more than 350 T20 international caps.
Each team is required to include at least one representative of an Associate nation in their squad, with talented players such as Paul van Meekeren (Kowloon) and Roelof van der Merwe (Hung Hom) set to feature.
The Hong Kong T20 Blitz was the tournament that gave Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane his first taste of the spotlight, impressing Michael Clarke while playing for Kowloon.
Clarke later brought the Nepalese to Sydney play in his NSW Premier Cricket team, and he last month was bought by the Delhi Daredevils at the IPL auction.