Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been unveiled as Hong Kong Island United’s first major signing for the Hong Kong T20 Blitz, which will run from March 8-12.
Misbah’s presence will give the tournament a major boost as he is the most successful Test captain in Pakistan history and holds the record for the joint second-fastest Test hundred ever.
“It’ll be a new experience for all of us, and I hope we can take HKI United and the Blitz into a new era,” the 42-year-old said. “My aim, as always, is to lead the team to the winner’s podium. I’m sure the HKI United team will be strong enough to compete for that spot too.”
Misbah is not the only high-profile figure HKI United have as the franchise will be coached by former Australia and Hong Kong international Ryan Campbell.
Speaking about the acquisition of Misbah, Campbell said: “To have a player of Misbah’s standing in the cricket world join us shows how big this tournament is getting and how vast our ambitions are. He’s a natural leader.”
HKI United owner Amna Naqvi added: “We’ve worked with Misbah extensively over the past 12 months and we’re sure there isn’t anyone better to lead a new franchise. Considering what he’s already achieved with the Pakistan team … I’m sure a repeat of that for HKI United is something he is fully capable of.”
Cricket Hong Kong CEO Tim Cutler was over the moon that someone of Misbah’s calibre had agreed to feature in the second edition of the HK T20 Blitz.
“The announcement that Misbah-ul-Haq will be playing in the Blitz is a testament to how far the tournament has come in such a short time,” he said. “An inspirational test captain who also led Islamabad United to victory in the first Pakistan Super League last year is an amazing addition to the event.
“I am particularly pleased to see HKI United tap into their winning team across the United family to bring such as star to Hong Kong.
“Four marquee players have been announced, each one of them international captains and stars in their own right in what promises to be an amazing event here in Hong Kong.”
Misbah boasts an average of 45.84 in the 72 Tests he has played. He has also featured in 162 ODIs and 39 Twenty20 Internationals and averages 43.40 and 37.52 respectively.
As if that isn’t enough, HKI United also boasts two former Hong Kong captains in Jamie Atkinson and Tanwir Afzal.