Caption: Barramundis Captian Assad Vala (R).
IN a major boost for cricket in PNG, HEBOU PNG Barramundis’ captain and batting star, Assad Vala departed for Hong Kong this week to compete for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz which will take place from 9-12th March in Hong Kong.
Vala is one of five international cricket stars playing for the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau in the Twenty20 Franchise competition which includes Kumar Sangakara (Sri Lanka), Jesse Ryder (New Zealand), Sohail Tanvir (Pakistan) and Seekkuge Prasana (Sri Lanka).
The other major international cricketers that will be taking part in the DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz will be: Pakistani cricketers Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Misbah Ul-Haq; West Indian cricketers Samuel Bandree, Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy; English Ashes winning hero Ian Bell; former Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan; former South African captain Johan Botha and; New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin.
DTC Hong Kong T20 Blitz is a Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament scheduled to hold its second edition from March 8-12 in 2017.
The tournament has extended to a five-team competition from the inaugural four with the event held over five days, ending today, at Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground in Mong Kok.
The Hong Kong T20 Blitz brings the world’s best short form players together with the premier local domestic cricket talent.
There is also a focus on developing Associate Cricket, with each team required to select at least one overseas player from a non-full member nation. A total of five overseas players per team will be permitted in the 2017 tournament, up from 3 in a playing XI in 2016.
This is the first time that any PNG cricketer has been selected in a professional cricket competition in the world.
HEBOU PNG Barramundis’ players Vala (Brisbane Heat), Charles Amini Jr (Sydney Sixers) and Lega Siaka (Melbourne Renegades) all received Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League Rookie Contracts in the past but never actually played a game.