Photo Credit: Cricket Netherlands
FairBreak Global’s mission is to create opportunities that progress gender equality on a truly global scale, using cricket as our primary vehicle. The FairBreak Invitational, featuring 90 players representing 36 different countries and territories requires a truly global effort.
Cricket boards in England, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are helping associate nations by allowing and sometimes actively encouraging their players to appear at the Cricket Hong Kong FairBreak Invitational, which will take place at the Kowloon Cricket Club between April 3 and 16.
English fast bowler Katherine Sciver-Brunt is a true pioneer of the women’s game who has played for England for the best part of two decades. She is still among the quickest bowlers in the game and will be turning out for the South Coast Sapphires this April.
‘It’s a great opportunity for players from all over the world to get together and share experiences and skill sets to help further each other and get more women a step further towards their dreams and aspirations,’ said an excited Brunt.
Although the Sapphires finished in fifth position in last year’s inaugural edition in Dubai, the prospect of Sciver-Brunt sharing the new ball with South African speedster Shabnim Ismail is one that will excite fans from all over the world.
Former South African skipper Dane van Niekerk has racked up a lot of silverware in her cupboards in the last few years. She should further strengthen the title chances of reigning champions, the Tornadoes.
‘Playing in the FairBreak Invitational means a lot to me as I missed out last year due to recovering from an injury,’ said an enthusiastic van Niekerk when she announced her signing on social media. ‘I love how inclusive the FairBreak Invitational is, and if it is anything close to last year, it’ll be a successful and fun competition.’
In an interesting sub-plot, van Niekerk will be squaring off against Falcons all-rounder and wife Marizanne Kapp in the first group stage game of the tournament on April 3.
Lining up alongside Kapp will be last year’s top run-scorer Chamari Athapaththu. The powerful Sri Lankan left-hander notched up 313 runs at a strike rate of 139 in Dubai, which included an unbeaten 107 in the first game of the 2022 FairBreak Invitational against the Warriors.
West Indies legend and Barmy Army batter Deandra Dottin was the second-highest run-scorer behind Athapaththu in 2022. Unsurprisingly, she topped the six-hitting charts with 16 hits over the ropes in 2022.
‘I’ll be honest there’s no words to explain how excited I am to be back for the Barmy Army at the FBI23!’ she said.
Returning for her sophomore season is South African Laura Wolvaardt, who will play under England top-order batter Lauren Winfield-Hill, captaining the Barmy Army in her debut season.
Danni Wyatt will add more English flavour to the tournament when she lines up in her second successive season for the Falcons.
‘I absolutely loved playing in Dubai in the first-ever FairBreak Invitational. It was absolutely incredible to be a part of, and I can’t wait to do it all again in Hong Kong,’ said the aggressive opener.
Team Spirit’s Sophia Dunkley has formed a dangerous opening partnership with Wyatt for England in recent times. Against the Barmy Army in 2022, Dunkley struck 123, the highest individual score of the tournament. She will be playing under Spirit skipper Nicola Carey, who had a strike rate of 180 in the inaugural edition along with scoring two half-centuries.
‘I can’t wait to get over to Hong Kong and lead the Spirit girls again and don the green shirt,’ said the Australian all-rounder.
Three of Carey’s Australian compatriots will be lining up for the Warriors: Leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, hard-hitting Ellie Johnston and Phoebe Litchfield, who has been earmarked by many experts in Australia as a future national captain. They will share a dugout with Mignon du Preez and Hayley Matthews, both of who are returning for another season.
Adding a Trans-Tasman touch to the Warriors and strengthening their seam bowling stocks is Jess Kerr, who won’t be the only New Zealander in action in April. Captaining the Falcons will be fellow White Ferns star and run machine, Suzie Bates. Bates will once again have a strong Asian influence in her squad with the likes of Hong Kong all-rounder Mariko Hill, Bhutan left-armer Anju Gurung and Bangladesh seamer Jahanara Alam to call upon.
UAE left-arm seamer Mahika Gaur is no stranger to the T20 circuit, featuring in the Manchester Originals’ squad for the 2022 season of The Hundred.
‘I can’t wait to play with people from around the world from so many different countries,’ said an excited Gaur who only turned 17 in early March.
Former Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof will be a calming influence in the Spirit dugout and will no doubt relish playing against her fellow Pakistan players. Sana Mir will play for the Sapphires while Aliya Riaz and Diana Baig will look to deliver another title for the Tornadoes.
Fatima Sana is set to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the Barmy Army, leading their pace attack along with Deandra Dottin.
‘This league is very close to my heart,’ said the seamer. ‘ was my first ever experience of playing a league and sharing the dressing room and field with multiple seniors and talented cricketers across the globe, especially from the associate nations.’
Tickets are now on sale for the 2023 Cricket Hong Kong FairBreak Invitational on TicketFlap —
Visit FairBreak.Net for more information.