HONG KONG—With a lot of anticipation and excitement, the Hong Kong T20 Blitz is returning with its third season from Feb 6-11, 2018. The cricket tournament will take place at its staple stadium, Mission Road Cricket Ground, with the same five teams as the previous year: City Kaitak, Galaxy Gladiators Lantau, Hong Kong Island United, Hung Hom JD Jaguars, and Kowloon Cantons.
In the second season of the tournament, each of the five squads included five international players, many of whom were global superstars. The list of players that played in the second season of the tournament included: Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Ian Bell, Kumar Sangakkara, Daren Sammy, Dwayne Smith, and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Of course, the foreign incumbents were also well supported by local talents such as Anshuman Rath, Nizakat Khan, and Nadeem Ahmed.
The impressive lineup of stars allowed the tournament to garner a worldwide reach of more than 50 million people, of which over six million were from India. Also, more than eight million watched the tournament live online through platforms like Facebook and YouTube. Most of all, the tournament was covered by countless reputable medias across the globe.
After tasting success over the past two years, the tournament promises to be even bigger, better, and longer. Hong Kong T20 Blitz 2018, which has been extended by one day to last six days, is likely to be broadcasted live on television channels across the globe. The prize money and in-house capacity have also increased, as has the list of sponsors and supporters. The Kerry Hotel has recently been signed on as hosts of the overseas players and management team of the Hung Hom JD Jaguars. Their collaboration as hotel partners illustrates the confidence that the premium brands have placed on the teams as well as the tournament as a whole.
As part of the build-up for the tournament in February, each of the teams, as well as the tournament organisers, have worked hard to garner an increased fan following.
Squads are now allowed to host up to six international players. The players to feature in the tournament are also expected to be more prolific. The world’s top ranked One Day International bowler, Hasan Ali, has been signed up by Hong Kong Island United, while City Kaitak, Galaxy Gladiators Lantau, and Kowloon Cantons will be armoured with the services of Sohail Tanvir, Kumar Sangakkara, and Dwayne Smith respectively. Hung Hom JD Jaguars have announced Chris Lynn, Daren Sammy, and Roelof van der Merwe, all of whom carry a huge fan following.
Tickets can be purchased at Ticketflap.
Suraj Sam Samtani is a freelance writer and reporter for international media and companies across the globe, and is also an academic and personal coach.