Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that for the first time, they will compete in the Hong Kong Sixes tournament, which takes place this weekend.
The tournament, which takes place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October at Kowloon Cricket Club in Hong Kong, will see MCC go head-to-head with Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, New Zealand Kiwis, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa as the only club side in the contest.
MCC have named a strong squad for the event, with England and Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel captaining the side. Patel enjoyed a fine year for the Trent Bridge outfit, helping them win not only the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s, but also the NatWest T20 Blast and promotion from Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.
Rikki Clarke, who made the switch from Warwickshire to Surrey this summer, Kent stalwart Darren Stevens and Hampshire’s Gareth Berg are three vastly experienced all-rounders who have also been named in the squad.
Big-hitting Middlesex wicket-keeper John Simpson is MCC’s gloveman for the tournament whilst Ryan Higgins, who has recently signed for Gloucestershire from Middlesex, and Yorkshire top-order batsman Jack Leaning complete the squad, which will be managed by MCC’s Head of Cricket John Stephenson.
Teams will be split into two pools of four with all of the preliminary matches to be played on the Saturday, and the finals matches on the Sunday.
The Hong Kong Sixes tournament was first played in 1992, and has almost entirely been played between international teams. It has not been played since 2012 but the new rejuvenated version of the event will be the first to be broadcast on television and digital platforms.
Games are played between two teams of six players, and each game consists of a maximum of five six-ball overs bowled by each side. Each match lasts around 45 minutes.
Each member of the fielding side bowls one over, with the exception of the wicket-keeper with wides and no-balls counting as two runs.
If five wickets fall before five overs are completed, the last remaining batsman bats on with the fifth batsman acting as a runner. The innings is complete when the sixth wicket falls.
Batsmen retire not out on reaching 31 runs, with the idea being to reach 36 runs by hitting six sixes. A retired batsman can return to the crease after lower-order batsmen either retire or are out.
MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said…
“We are very excited to be taking a team to the Hong Kong Sixes tournament. MCC has recently completed a successful tour of China and Hong Kong, and involvement in this event will continue to outline our commitment to growing the game in this area of the world.
“We have selected a strong squad with a good amount of international experience amongst it, and we look forward to playing exciting, competitive cricket in what is an innovative format of the game.”
John Simpson added…
“I am really looking forward to representing MCC in the Hong Kong Sixes this coming weekend. It’s a brilliant tournament with a great history, and I’m excited to be playing a part in it.
“Playing alongside some great cricketers and against plenty of other internationals should make the tournament both competitive and action packed, and I’m relishing the challenge.”