2012-13 HKCA KARP Group Sunday Championship
2012-13 HKCA Sunday Cup
- Templars v. SLCC @ PKVR, 7th October 2012
- Templars v. HKCC Optimists @ KCC, 4th November 2012
- Templars v. LSW Knights @ Mission Road, 11th November 2012
- Templars v. Infidels @ KCC, 18th November 2012
- Templars v. Shaffi's Vagabonds CC @ KCC, 2nd December 2012
- Templars v. USRC/Millennium @ Mission Road, 23rd December 2012
- Templars v. LSW JKN @ KCC, 27th January 2013
- Templars v. Pakistan Association @ Mission Road, 3rd February 2013
- Templars v. HKCC Scorpions @ HKCC, 3rd March 2013
- Templars v. HKCC Wanderers @ KCC, 24th March 2013
- Starts 1st April 2013
In an almost identical repeat of last year’s results, the Templars finished the season with 7 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses. Once more, the Templars prevailed in a few high-pressure games but simply lacked the overall strength and experience to overcome the best teams in the league such as Pakistan Association or the HKCC Scorpions. Nevertheless, it was a worthy season result for a team that began very poorly along with a little bit of bad luck with the weather, yet had the character and heart to crawl back into contention for making the league’s semi-finals. The Templars’ valiant charge of 6 wins out of the last 7 games of the season, including defeating LSW for the first time in many years, was indeed a courageous effort but unfortunately, we narrowly missed out by 3 points.
Although the Templars did not accomplish its goal of qualifying for the Sunday League semi-finals (as the top 4 teams in Hong Kong) yet again, it was nonetheless, another fine, rewarding season, reflected by the close comradery and togetherness of the team. It was also a season where several of our young players vastly improved and grew in confidence, and it was especially pleasing to see the team displaying much application and emphasis on preparation before as well as during games. Not only have players complied with the disciplined routines set out during morning warm-ups and training, they have also significantly improved their understanding and knowledge of the game, manifested by their assuredness with field plans, strategies and solutions.
Where the Templars struggled this year was definitely the batting. Without regular seniors Roy Lamsam or Dylan Dearing firing, it was up to ‘new kid on the block’ Waqas Barkat to hold the batting together. Barkat had a superb first season with the Templars scoring 421 runs at an average of 60.14 and was the only Sunday centurion of the year when he gracefully hit 105 against LSW at Kai Tak.
Special mention also goes to Afzaal Haider for his incredible bowling performances for the season. A true match-winner in every respect. Although statistics do not quite reveal the full extent and impact of his bowling, he still ended up with 30 wickets at an average of 14.20 for the Templars. Throughout the season, Afzaal created opportunities on fairly placid wickets by bowling with imagination and wrecking havoc whenever he bowled around the wicket. It was an impressive display of application, guile and creativity, as his marriage with opening bowling partner, the ever-improving Aditya Kanthan, was complimented by several innovative field settings supported by arguably the best slip cordon in Hong Kong. His spells consistently did the main damage or made the breakthroughs even when we defending very small totals - a common sight for the Templars this year.
As with fine wine, Afzaal is simply getting better with age. He thoroughly deserved the KCC Bob Bell Cricketer of the Year award based on the simple fact that he has had the greatest impact in almost all of the games won for the Templars as well as the KCC Premier League.
It was particularly satisfying to see the Templars swoop the awards at the inaugural KCC Cricket Ball, with Kinchat Shah winning the Young Cricketer of the Year and Roy Lamsam receiving the Ivy Collins Trophy for his services to KCC Cricket. Even Saumil Shah got in on the action – he decided he needed more treasured pieces to hang on his wall so he won all the valued items in the auction!
Other highlights of the season included outright wins against current League Champions LSW; the Infidels in the KCC derby, (impressively led by vice-captain Dylan Dearing) and finally the nail-biting 1 wicket win against the HKCC Optimists.
For the first time in 3 years, the Templars achieved their goal of beating one of the top sides in the league. In their win against champions LSW, the Templars were defending a small total of 146 from 33 overs in a rain-affected match. It was wonderful to see youngster Ninad Shah put his hand up to display a match-winning 6-22 in 7 overs of deadly swing bowling to rout and crush LSW to 87 all out. It was testament to Ninad’s hard work after coming back from injury mid-season.
After bowling out their fellow KCC team the Infidels in the derby for a paltry 109 all out, Waqas Barkat hit a magnificent 80* off a ridiculously minute number of balls. Barkat was labelled as unstoppable as the win was completed off a mere 9 overs with boundaries and clean hits flying off the bat!
Finally, playing against the HKCC Optimists on a lively wicket on their home ground, the Templars held their nerve to chase a tricky 167 total. It was down to the final pair Kinchit Shah and Aditya Kanthan, where both batsmen cleverly rotated the strike in a combination of cheeky singles, calm nerves and daring shot-making. It was a mature innings from both batsmen as Kinchit finally end up scoring 76* and Aditya Kanthan 10* who hit the winning runs in a match-winning partnership of 41 runs, and celebrated with his trademark ‘Goldman Sachs’ fist pump securing a moral boosting, momentum-building victory.
As cited before in the Templars’ prior end-of-season reports, it is only a matter of time before key youngsters consistently produce such standout performances next year. Players such as Kinchit Shah and Aditya Kanthan are on the verge of becoming permanent members of the Hong Kong National squad, and with diligence, hunger and time-management, they are not far away from achieving their goals and making KCC and the Templars very proud.
Congratulations to Hersh Khatri, Suhaib Ahmed and Ashfaq Daood who have also managed to gain national colours and performed admirably for Hong Kong in the ACC Elite U16s cricket tournament held in Malaysia. Well done also to Kinchit Shah for performing so well in the ICC World T20s in Dubai.
In closing, I would like to thank the Templars for their continuing support and hard work. A special thanks goes to Dylan Dearing who captained so brilliantly during my absence and to Afzaal Haider who led from the front with the ball. I look forward to another fun, challenge-filled season with this young and ever-improving KCC team. Our 3 year plan has come full circle and it shall be very interesting to see what the next step for the Templars is. Who will excel, lead from the front and win matches next season? Talent is everywhere in this team, but it needs to be converted into big scores and cleverly thought-out wickets through discipline and careful planning.
Submitted by Roy Lamsam
Templars won the toss and chose to bat first on the Kai Tak astro-turf wicket. A low scoring match was anticipated with advantage to the bowlers but the ensuing day’s play was far from expected.
Saumil and Sunny opened the innings and provided a solid start. The first wicket fell at the score of 32 with wickets then falling consistently as Templars batsmen failed to adequately manage the accurate bowling and difficult bounce. Majority of wickets were out caught with batters playing across the line. Only five batsmen achieved double figures; Saumil 17, Dylan 22, Kinchit 15, Waqas 14 and Waqar 10. A low score of 10 for 125 was posted of 30 overs. A superb bowling effort was needed to defend this total.
Afzaal took the new ball with Aditya and both immediately took a wicket each. Millenium were suddenly under pressure at 2 for 4 runs. Although fielding pressure was maintained, the opposition reached 2 for 68 without further loss of wickets. After lunch Templars continued to strive for wickets while containing runs. Waqar and Ninad were introduced and this was the turning point for the match. Combined with excellent catching, fielding and applied pressure on the Millenium batsmen, 8 wickets fell for 38 runs. Ninad and Waqar completed with figures of 4 for 8 and 3 for 30 runs, respectively. The opposition was bowled out 10 for 106 off 22 overs with the Templars recording a notable victory.
Submitted by Dylan Dearing
For the 2010-2011 Templars season, it gives me great pleasure to report on the vast improvements our team has made from last year’s performance. In 2010, the Templars finished 8th but this year we have fittingly progressed to a very respectable 5th out of the 11 teams in the Hong Kong League. This clear and commendable advancement is the result of the commitment, dedication and diligence of team-management, as well as the willingness of each and every team member to work hard throughout the year.
Last year, the Templars made a conscious decision to create a new team structure, ethos and atmosphere, headed by the principles and values of the game. Since then, the team as a whole has continued to strive for these goals and skills both on and off the field. Accordingly, credit goes to Head Coach Peter Wooden who has emphasised the “work hard reap rewards” philosophy in an enthusiastic environment, motivating and challenging us during our training sessions and the entire season.
In a rather topsy-turvy season, with several squad members abroad in the Netherlands, England and Australia, and with skipper Roy Lamsam often away on National Duty representing Hong Kong at the Asian Games, PNG, Sri Lanka and Division 2 & 3 tournaments, astute team-management played a crucial role within the internal team dynamics. Supported by senior squad members, Vice Captain Miten Khatri met these challenges head-on. Not only did he perform well in the Hong Kong League, but he was also selected as Hong Kong’s U19 Captain for the ACC Elite Cup in Malaysia. Templars squad members Sunny Bhimsaria and Kinchit Shah also represented Hong Kong at this prestigious tournament. This is indeed a proud moment for the Templars and KCC.
As ever, the Templars were once again ably supported by a vivacious core group of senior squad members both on and off the field, including stand-out bowler Afzaal Haider who bagged 37 wickets in 21 matches, Saumil Shah, Dylan Dearing and Maroof Khan who will be sorely missed as he relocates to Singapore. Maroof certainly led by example, holding true to the high standards set for the team at the beginning of the year, providing much-needed guidance and sensible know-how to the less experienced members of the team. The ever-solid Dylan Dearing provided much of the Templars’ batting backbone by scoring 526 runs, with 2 centuries including the fantastic innings of the year of 146* when he calmly guided us to a memorable 1 wicket win over the HKCC Wanderers. Other commendable performances for the season include a skilful 89* from Kinchit Shah against the HKCC Scorpions, where the innings was highlighted by a season record highest 10th wicket partnership of 87 with his brother Ninad at the other end.
As proven on several occasions this season, the Templars certainly knew how to win in high-pressure games but simply lacked the overall strength and experience to overcome the biggest teams in the league such as Pakistan Association or LSW. Nevertheless, it was a laudable season result for the team that has worked hard to notch up their 7 wins and is constantly striving to produce better and more consistent performances.
Although several young squad members are beginning to shine and have made significant improvements and advances over the course of the season, it goes without saying that they should not rest on their laurels but should be inspired to work even harder during the summer months to ensure that they are even better prepared for the new season, and are able to step up and start becoming match-winners on their own.
Once again, sincere thanks to Simon Scanlon, Peter Wooden, Afzaal Haider, Dylan Dearing and the rest of the Templars for their kind support throughout the year. I very much look forward to the 2012 cricket season, which should have many exciting prospects. I am confident that the Templars will meet these challenges head on and accomplish greater heights.
By Roy Lamsam
The following players have been named in the Templars squad for the 2010-11 season:
- Roy Lamsam (Captain)
- James Atkinson
- Shivang Baid
- Sunny Bhimsaria
- Louis Chan
- Roshan Dadlani
- Ashish Gadhia
- Afzaal Haider
- James Harlow
- Aditya Kanthan
- Mahroof Khan
- Miten Khatri
- Ravi Lulla
- Anoop Nainani
- John Narang
- Zubair Nizami
- Shamal Periera
- Iqbal Ateequi Rehman
- Devang Shah
- Kinchit Shah
- Ninad Shah
- Saumil Shah
- Simandeep Singh
- Ravi Sujanani
The 2009-10 cricket season marked an important year for cricket development within KCC where several progressive steps had been taken to ensure the longevity and strength of the cricket section. KCC cricket had a vision to rebuild and rejuvenate its cricket through the reintroduction of a 2nd team - the Templars, labeled as a ‘development side’. With this revival of the Templars, the team’s criteria was to provide ample opportunity to young cricketers which had been critically lacking in the previous season. In essence, the Templars has become a foundation to fostering KCC’s new uncapped young talented cricketers where they have been encouraged to shine and prove themselves in the Sunday League.
This has enabled the Templars to create a new team culture and atmosphere dictated by higher standards, principles and values. This new team ethos has been well-executed by the young players as their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and hunger to perform has led to numerous outstanding individual performances, many cricketers playing well beyond expectation, but more importantly, led to several commendable team performances.
The Templars had a decent year given the relative inexperience of the majority of players in the side, with 4 wins and 7 losses and finishing 8th / 11 teams for the season.
Despite the lack of experience in the side (at times with the unavailability of key senior players, the average age of the team playing was close to 17), it was incredibly heartening to see the young cricketers show some strength of character, to bounce back from the early heavy losses against Wanderers and Vagabonds with some key team performances to generate wins against Optimists, Infidels and Sri Lanka CC. Furthermore, there were several matches where the Templars came rather close to upsetting many of the well-established teams in the league, such as Pakistan Assoc. and Scorpions. Several games were also rain affected which could have resulted in a different story. Thus, it is encouraging to mention that although the team is fairly raw, the players did compete with a certain spirit, grit and feistiness throughout the season - a never-say-die attitude has unquestionably become instilled in the new Templars. The side is swiftly learning from their first season and it is certainly fuelling their determination to improve and toughen up.
There were several highlights this season, most of which occurred during the game against the KCC Infidels, whereby a strong team performance secured Templars of a much needed morale-boosting victory, especially after having lost four in a row. Kapil Shukla, Kinchit Shah and Sunny Bhimsaria showed much strength and determination to pull off a great victory from a desperately challenging position. The win provided much needed confidence for the team, especially when several key players were abroad in New Zealand at the U19 World Cup finals.
The other significant highlight of the season belonged to Kinchit Shah’s masterful solo exhibition of batting against a strong Optimists side, where he gracefully cut, drove and defied his way to a classy 71*. It was an incredible performance for a 14 yr. old playing in his first HK Sunday League season, as he batted for 36 overs to notch up Templars’ 2nd win of the year. It comes as no coincidence that Kinchit recently scored a glorious 105 against a touring Singapore side in the U15 International Competition, and has also won this year’s Dragon of the Year award at the HKCA Annual Awards.
There have also been some other honourable mentions for the season, with Miten Khatri being most impressive behind the stumps and has adopted a tremendous work ethic. Not only does he have a solid batting technique, he certainly has all the elements and potential for developing into a top class wicket keeper. He also performed exceptionally well as captain of the HKU16s in the ACC Elite Trophy held in Nepal earlier this year.
Both Ninad Shah and Ateeq Ul-Rehman have also responded especially well in their first season as bowlers. Ninad is developing into a dangerous and confident all-rounder whilst Ateeq is maturing into a clever 1st change bowler, brimming with variation in changes of pace. For Ninad, performing in the men’s league at the tender age of 12 is already an extremely praiseworthy achievement and has continued to impress at training as well as at the international U15 level.
Last but not least, Aditya Kanthan and Ashish Gadhia were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in the U19 World Cup held in New Zealand at the beginning of the year. Hong Kong has never competed at the highest level before, and both players performed extremely well, particularly Ashish, who managed to score 59 against USA, 46 against Afghanistan and Canada, as well as becoming HK’s joint highest wicket taker. KCC and Templars are extremely proud of their accomplishments at the World Cup.
Despite the fact that the Templars ended up in the lower range of the points’ table, overall, it has been an exciting and fulfilling year with plenty to look forward to in the forth-coming season. The season has given way to the rise of several new talented young cricketers, and has presented them with plenty of opportunities to stand out. But more importantly, it has provided the players with experience as well as a vital stepping-stone in their cricketing development.
Truthfully speaking, it was never going to be smooth sailing for this new Templars side, but through perseverance and diligence, we have evolved to become a stronger unit. The new players have adapted well, gelled together rapidly to form a strong team core, and have gained considerable momentum with their willingness to work hard. Several Templars have already been identified and selected to take part in an innovative U23 leadership program led by Head Coach Peter Wooden over summer, where their skills and potential are further polished and developed.
All in all, it is extremely reassuring and gratifying to know that many of these budding players have the ingredients to becoming top cricketers, leaders and will undoubtedly go on to represent Hong Kong at the international level. There is still quite some way to go, but nevertheless, I strongly believe that as a KCC team we will grow from strength to strength.
“This young, impressive Templars side is surely going to become a champion side in a few years time.’’ Perhaps these encouraging words of Phil Pemberton, the captain of the HKCC Scorpions, may come true.
To conclude, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Simon Scanlon, Afzaal Haider and the rest of the Templars senior players for their support throughout the year. I look forward to the next exciting cricket season, and hopefully, we shall see the Templars further excel.
- Roy Lamsam, Templars' Captain 2009-10 season