Asia Cup: Associate teams crying out for more opportunities, says Hong Kong skipper Nizakat

Nizakat hoped that the ICC will take a look into this and probably add more Associate teams in the mix for future tournaments



Hong Kong's Ehsan Khan (second right) congratulates Pakistan players after their Asia Cup match in Sharjah on Friday. (AP)
Hong Kong's Ehsan Khan (second right) congratulates Pakistan players after their Asia Cup match in Sharjah on Friday. (AP)
by

James Jose

Published: Sat 3 Sep 2022, 4:58 PM

They got another chance to play against two big teams like India and Pakistan in the DP World Asia Cup but Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan felt Associate nations are crying out for more opportunities which will help cricket grow.

Hong Kong lost both their games against India and Pakistan in this edition. They had made the cut for the competition after playing a qualifying tournament in Oman that involved UAE, Kuwait and Singapore.

Hong Kong had also played in the 2018 edition in the UAE, when the tournament was played in the 50-over format.

Nizakat hoped that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will take a look into this and probably add more Associate teams in the mix for future tournaments.

“If we get opportunities to play against the big teams, obviously we can get better,” said Nizakat.

“When we get to play against big teams, we get to learn a lot. By playing one or two games, we don’t get to learn as much as we would like to. And that is the case not just for us but all the Associate nations. And I’m sure the ICC will look into it. To help cricket grow, I hope more teams are added in tournaments like the Asia Cup. It will help Associate teams,” he felt.

Meanwhile, talking about the massive defeat to Pakistan, Nizakat said that they were outplayed. Pakistan racked up 193 for two and Hong Kong were shot out for just 38, going down by a comprehensive 155 runs.

It was the second biggest margin of victory by runs in T20Is by full members with the highest being Sri Lanka’s 172-run win over Kenya in Johannesburg in 2007.

It was also Hong Kong’s lowest total in the format with the previous lowest being 69 against Nepal at Chattogram in 2014 followed by 87-9 against Uganda in Bulawayo this year as well as 87 against Oman in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

This was also the lowest T20I total against Pakistan with the previous being 60 by the West Indies in Karachi in 2018.

“We started well while bowling but we slipped up a bit. And while we batted, the way Pakistan bowled, they outplayed us. We played poor shots and we didn’t handle the pressure well. For us, these are learnings. And if we get an opportunity next time, we will be better prepared,” he said.

“The pitch was different. The pitch here is a bit low and slow. But in international cricket, you have to assess it quickly and we didn’t. We played poor cricket and we accept that and moving forward, we will try to play better,” added Nizakat.


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