Photo Credit: Cricket Hong Kong
90 cricketers from 36 different countries and territories will be on show at the 2023 Cricket Hong Kong FairBreak Invitational set to be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club between April 3 and 16. 27 of these 90 players are athletes from associate member countries that are part of the ICC – Asia / East Asia Pacific Region and part of the Asian Cricket Council. In addition there are 10 players from Full Member countries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for a total of 37 players from Asia being represented.
With the backing of Cricket Hong Kong, the FairBreak Invitational is another step towards greater recognition and the development of the outstandingly talented players in Asia from the UAE, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Bhutan, Kuwait and Hong Kong.
In addition to 12 players from Hong Kong, leading associates Thailand and UAE will have five and four representatives, respectively, participating in April’s Invitational. UAE and Warriors batter Esha Oza was awarded the ICC Associate Player of the Year award, accumulating 675 T20I runs, including two hundreds and a top score of 158* in 2022. Still shy of her 19th birthday, Theertha Satish scored a half-century against Australia at the Under-19 T20 World Cup, and will be looking to push her team, last year’s runners up the Falcons, to the trophy in Hong Kong.
Satish will have Falcons teammate and Hong Kong all-rounder Mariko Hill for company. A long-time FairBreaker, Hill grew as the 2022 tournament progressed, notching up a partnership of 92 with Marizanne Kapp in the final against the Tornadoes. Within months of the 2022 tournament, she was selected to play for the Northern Diamonds in England’s regional competition.
Team Spirit and Hong Kong batter Yaz Daswani played alongside Mariko at Spencer CC in Division 1 of the Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL) in the UK, notching up 278 runs in 8 innings at an average of 34.75 and a strike rate of 92.67.
Also starring in UK club cricket were Hong Kong and Gunnersbury CC duo of Ruchi Venkatesh and Natasha Miles. Off-spinning all-rounder Venkatesh took 11 wickets at an average of 24.64 with a best of 4-22 against St Lawrence & Highland Court CC in the WCSL. She also played for Hampstead in the Middlesex 3rd Division Men’s League, taking impressive figures of 8-45. Her consistency earned her a trial at Middlesex County Cricket Club, for whom Natasha Miles was named ‘Player of the Year’ for the 2021/22 season. In the Vitality Women’s County T20, Miles scored 151 runs in 4 innings at a strike rate of 142.5, which included two fifties. In the final of the same competition, Venkatesh was the bowler of the final with figures of 2 for 17. Venkatesh with the Barmy Army and Miles with the Tornadoes could turn heads in the second edition of April’s competition, taking place in their home city.
Nepal stalwart Sita Rana Magar, who was part of the first-ever Nepal women’s team established in 2007, will be turning out for reigning champions Tornadoes. She will be joined by Malaysia’s Winifred Duraisingam — quite literally the poster player of last year’s Invitational. Duraisingam famously picked up seven wickets in 2022, including South Africa’s Mignon du Preez and Australia’s Georgia Redmayne when she faced the Warriors.
Thailand’s Natthakan Chantham is no stranger to shining against full member opposition, rising to overnight fame after her half-century against Pakistan in the 2020 T20 World Cup. A few months after the inaugural FairBreak Invitational, she repeated the dose at Asia Cup with a match-winning 61 against the same opposition, which helped Thailand qualify for the Asia Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Bhutanese left-armer Anju Gurung and Kuwait’s Maryam Omar, the only ethnically Arab player in Kuwait’s team, are other players with a high ceiling who may well shine in their sophomore season of the competition.
Hong Kong captain Kary Chan finished the 2022 tournament with an economy rate of under 6 runs an over while turning out for the Sapphires. A three-dimensional player, Chan has worked on her power-hitting to complement her already impressive ability to regularly rotate the strike. A few months on from the conclusion of the 2022 tournament, Chan scored a scarcely believable 122 off 55 in a domestic game with the assistance of three maximums. Her Hong Kong teammate, FairBreak Invitational debutant and livewire in the field, Pull To will also line up for the Sapphires.
One of the ethos of FairBreak Invitational T20 is to envision a world where people have fair and equal access to opportunities that enable them to succeed in their chosen endeavour, independent of gender or geographical location. The FairBreak Invitational makes it possible for female athletes in emerging cricket nations to pursue the game as a full-time profession; something than ten years ago was unthinkable for most leading female athletes.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2023 Cricket Hong Kong FairBreak Invitational on TicketFlap — https://www.ticketflap.com/fairbreakt2023
Visit FairBreak.Net for more information.
|Country||Number of Players||Players|
|UAE||Theertha Satish, Kavish Egodage, Esha Oza, Mahika Gaur||4|
|Thailand||Chanida Sutthiruang, Nannapat Konchoroenkai, Sornnarin Tippoch, Natthakan Chantham, Nattaya Boochatham||5|
|Nepal||Sita Rana Magar, Rubina Chhetry||2|
|Hong Kong||Mariko Hill, Kary Chan, Pull To, Marina Lamplough, Alison Siu, Shanzeen Shahzad, Ruchi Venkatesh, Iqra Sahar, Betty Chan, Yasmin Daswani, Natasha Miles, Maryam Bibi||12|
|Sri Lanka||Chamari Athapaththu||1|
|Pakistan||Bismah Maroof, Sana Mir, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana||5|
|Bangladesh||Rumana Ahmed, Nigar Sultana Joty, Jahanara Alam||3|