HK Cricket Match Reports: Saturday 30 April, 2016

Saturday Championship – 30th April 2016

Division 2
As the season runs down to its conclusion, there are only a handful of fixtures remaining in the Saturday Championship Division 2. Matches scheduled at Mission Road over the past couple of weeks have been moved to PKVR Park.

SCC Lancers v HKU
There was only one match played on Saturday at PKVR Park where SCC Lancers beat HKU by six wickets in a tight finish.

HKU batted first after winning the toss and they made 9/178 from their 35 overs. The bulk of their runs were scored in a fourth wicket partnership of 88 runs between Ankit Suri who hit 42 and Chamila Panduwawala who top scored with 49. Best of the HKU bowlers was Rahul Tonapi who claimed 3/41 from seven overs.

The SCC Lancers reply got away to a good start with the openers putting on 39 runs for the first wicket however, three quick strikes by the HKU bowlers set SCC Lancers back to 3/57. A 94-run fourth wicket partnership between Uday Shetty (58) and Asif Ismail (56*) set up the win for SCC Lancers, who got over the line with eight balls to spare.
At PKVR Park: HKUCC 9/178 from 35 overs lost to SCC Lancers 4/181 from 33.4 overs by six wickets.

Who Killed Amazoula @ Christian Louboutin – 28 April, 2016

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Amateur sleuths, private investigators and champagne swilling guests joined the Red Sole Republic Police Department at Christian Louboutin in Central to attempt to solve the mystery of who killed Amazoula?
Click on any photo for the full gallery

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Hong Kong Rugby Union and Pieter Schats Plead Not Guilty

The trial of the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) and it’s Chairman Pieter Schats on Criminal Defamation reached the plea stage at Eastern Magistrates Court on 22 April, 2016 with the charges in the private prosecution read out to the defendants:

The charges read out were:

Information has been laid THAT YOU, Hong Kong Rugby Union a limited company registered in Hong Kong did on the 25 September, 2015 in Hong Kong deliberately and maliciously published, in the form of the article annexed here, defamatory libel knowing it to be false and factually inaccurate in breach of Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance, Cap 21 of the Laws of Hong Kong.

The article in the form of a letter written by the Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union on the letterhead of the HK Rugby Union (HKRU) was published to “All of our friends at World and Asia Rugby, Hong Kong Rugby Union Past Chairmen and Vice Presidents, Board of Directors, Hong Kong Rugby Club Chairmen and the Hong Kong Rugby and Sporting Community. It was also published on the HKRU’s website www.hkrugby.com under the title “Note from HKRU Chairman Pieter Schats.”

On or before the 23 September, 2015 the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) – the organisation responsible for the running and management of the sport of Rugby Union in Hong Kong – did approve and implement a new rule imposing ethnic Chinese player quotas on teams playing rugby in Hong Kong.

The HKRU on the 23 September, 2015 published on it’s website and caused to be published in the SCMP a news release entitled “Significant changes made to Hong Kong Rugby Union Domestic League structure”. Part of the text of that news release was: The modified Championship Club structure sees that league now highly focused on serving as an entry point and breeding ground for Chinese players, with all teams required to include a minimum of 14 ethnic Chinese players in each match day squad.”

Simon Durrant, the editor and publisher of bc magazine for 21 years wrote an article about the introduction of active racial discrimination, via ethnic quotas, into HK Rugby. According to Chapter 602 The Racial Discrimination Ordinance this is illegal in Hong Kong. The article entitled Active Racial Discrimination in HK Men’s Rugby was published on www.bcmagazine.net on the 24 September, 2015.

The HKRU letter dated 25 September, 2015 in full and specifically but not limited to paragraphs 3,4,5 is defamatory, disparaging and factually untrue. It besmirches and stains the integrity and reputation of Simon Durrant as a journalist and the factual accuracy of his article and in doing so the reputation and integrity of bc magazine – where Simon Durrant often recognised in public as ‘Mr bc’ has been the Owner, Publisher and Editor of bc magazine for over 21 years. Contrary to Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance, Chapter 21

The HKRU representative Mr Schats pleaded not guilty

Information has been laid THAT YOU, Pieter Lodewijk Schats as Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union on the 25 September, 2015 in Hong Kong deliberately and maliciously published, in the form of the article annexed here, defamatory libel knowing it to be false and factually inaccurate in breach of Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance, Cap 21 of the Laws of Hong Kong.

The article is in the form of a letter written by Pieter Schats, Chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union on the letterhead of the HK Rugby Union was published to “All of our friends at World and Asia Rugby, Hong Kong Rugby Union Past Chairmen and Vice Presidents, Board of Directors, Hong Kong Rugby Club Chairmen and the Hong Kong Rugby and Sporting Community. It was also published on the HKRU’s website www.hkrugby.com under the title “Note from HKRU Chairman Pieter Schats.”

On or before the 23 September, 2015 the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) – the organisation responsible for the running and management of the sport of Rugby Union in Hong Kong – did approve and implement a new rule imposing ethnic Chinese player quotas on teams playing rugby in Hong Kong.

The HKRU on the 23 September, 2015 published on it’s website and caused to be published in the SCMP a news release entitled “Significant changes made to Hong Kong Rugby Union Domestic League structure”. Part of the text of that news release was: The modified Championship Club structure sees that league now highly focused on serving as an entry point and breeding ground for Chinese players, with all teams required to include a minimum of 14 ethnic Chinese players in each match day squad.”

Simon Durrant, the editor and publisher of bc magazine for 21 years wrote an article about the introduction of active racial discrimination, via ethnic quotas, into HK Rugby. According to Chapter 602 The Racial Discrimination Ordinance this is illegal in Hong Kong. The article entitled Active Racial Discrimination in HK Men’s Rugby was published on www.bcmagazine.net on the 24 September, 2015.

Pieter Schats letter dated 25 September, 2015 in full and specifically but not limited to paragraphs 3,4,5 is defamatory, disparaging and factually untrue. It besmirches and stains the integrity and reputation of Simon Durrant as a journalist and the factual accuracy of his article and in doing so the reputation and integrity of bc magazine – where Simon Durrant often recognised in public as ‘Mr bc’ has been the Owner, Publisher and Editor of bc magazine for over 21 years. Contrary to Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance, Chapter 21

Mr Pieter Lodewijk Schats pleaded not guilty.

SCMP article Hong Kong rugby to revamp domestic leagues in effort to strengthen national team - with ethnic quota rule intordution highlighted
SCMP article “Hong Kong rugby to revamp domestic leagues in effort to strengthen national team” with ethnic quota rule introduction highlighted.

The cases centre around the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s introduction of Ethnic Quotas to local rugby in September 2015 – as announced by the HKRU in a 23 September news release on their website and also published in the SCMP (linked here) on the 22 and 23 September.

The HKRU website version (linked here) was quickly amended after Simon Durrant’s article (linked here) that ethnic quotas and racial discrimination are illegal in Hong Kong was published on the 24 September.

A day later on the 25 September Mr Schats published a note to the global rugby community (linked here) which according to Mr Durrant is defamatory and factually inaccurate.

Both cases were adjourned for three weeks.

Hong Kong T20 Blitz

hk-blitzThe four teams that will compete in the inaugural Hong Kong T20 Blitz have been revealed following a successful auctioning off of the franchises.

Rude Bar Island Warriors, Kowloon Cantons, Hung Hom JD Jaguars and Lantau GII Galaxy Riders were the names chosen by their respective owners to compete in the tournament run by the Hong Kong Cricket Association over the 28th and 29th of May.

The four teams will play each other once with the final to be held on the Sunday afternoon on the 29th of May.

The Island Warriors are run by the owners of a sports bar (Rude Bar Stock Exchange) in Wyndham St and placed the top bid in the silent auction that will earn the franchise first pick in the player draft.

“The format of cricket is tried and tested which always attracts a lot of people,” Warriors marketing manager Amanda Folcarelli said. “By starting this in Hong Kong it will put the region a step closer to the global cricket world and help the development of its young players. We as a business will also gain lots of untapped clients from the HK cricket fraternity which is good for us too.”

The Kowloon Cantons are made up of a syndicate of 10 owners and will wear the colour blue with their slogan “Cricket, Passion, Faith”. The Cantons will have a derby match with neighbours the Hung Hom JD Jaguars, who are owned by Jedi Dia a company with close family ties to Hong Kong national team player Kinchit Shah. The Jaguars will play in Pink and Black. And the fourth team will be the Lantau GII Galaxy Riders, who are owned by Indian businessman Suresh Khandewal. The team will play in Black and white.

Hong Kong Cricket Association Marketing and Commercial Director Max Abbott said the announcement of the teams was an exciting step for event organisers. “Now that we have the names, the tournament is really starting to take shape and we can start to promote these franchises. It will be up to the teams to build their fan base now and us as an Association to get Hong Kong excited about this tournament.” Abbott continued “It’s looking likely we will have some big name signings to announce as overseas players, which will prove that we want this to be a high quality cricket tournament. Our aim is to sell the ground out at Tin Kwong Rd Recreation ground for both days when tickets go on sale next month.”

The draft will be held on April 28, which include players being selected from the Hong Kong squad and the domestic Premier League.

T20 Blitz
Date: 28-29 May, 2016
Venue: Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground
Tickets: tbc

Seru Rabeni Memorial Game

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Saturday 16 April 2016 saw a gathering of players, supporters and friends, all wanting to pay their respects to, and celebrate the life of, this great man.

The Memorial started out with a video of tribute highlighting Seru’s rugby career which began in Fiji, and expanded across the globe. Playing in both the Sevens and 15s format, Seru ran on the pitch for his country Fiji, many times. He then went on to play in New Zealand for the Highlanders, in the UK for Leicester Tigers, in France for Stade Rochelais, as a player/coach in the USA for Lindenwood University and finally did service in Hong Kong for both Discovery Bay Pirates and Hong Kong Scottish.

Hong Kong Football Club pitch saw players from HK Scottish, HK Football Club, HK University, DB Pirates, Valley Fort, Typhoons and Kowloon join together to create teams to play in 3 Memorial games. The first game was a Social friendly; played by many who had “much experience over many years” (the two wingers had 116 years between them). Much heavy breathing and hands on hips was witnessed. This was followed by the Ladies 10s which was competitive, even though it was a first ever game for some.

Finally, a Performance game was played between DB Pirates/HK Scottish (“Pirate Islanders”) and a HK Barbarian team. Players gave their all, some crunching tackles and impressive line breaks. Seru would have been proud of both their performances and the camaraderie on the field. The only thing missing was the Big Man’s laughter coming from the pitch.

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The HK Barbarians were victorious in the first two, close games but the Pirate Islanders managed to take a well-deserved win in the third.

13043254_10153602492623437_2456994487471342471_nA good turnout resulted in good sales of memorial shirts as well as playing shirts, with funds raised going towards the Seru Fund. Currently being administered by DB Pirates, monies donated will go towards projects close to Seru’s heart. The Fund will seek to support work going on in Seru’s home village in Fiji and help complete the building of a school. For more information about the fund please contact [email protected]

Some of the Fund is also planned to form part of a scholarship, to identify and bring a Fijian teenager to Hong Kong to school and play rugby, and hopefully give them a springboard to a brighter future.

In life, Seru was able to bring together people from all corners, to play the game he was so passionate about. Thus, it was most fitting that the same could be done after his passing.

Watch the opening tribute and all three games here:
Opening and tribute to Seru Rabeni, DB Pirates vs HK Barbarians (social men’s game)
DB Pirates vs HK Barbarians (ladies 10s’ game)
Pirate Islanders vs HK Barbarians (men’s performance game)

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Photos: Sharon McEneff

Celebration and Heartbreak for Hong Kong Rowers

Chiu Hin Chung & Tang Chiu Mang (Left to Right)

There were tears of joy and heartbreak for Hong Kong rowers competing in the finals of the Asia and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in Korea today. Racing on the 2014 Asian Games course in Chungju, the new lightweight men’s double scull combination of Tang Chiu Mang and Chiu Hin Chun took third place in a close-fought final, to qualify for the Games in Rio.

Heat winners Japan took the early lead, but China pushed hard before the halfway mark to move ahead, with Japan and Hong Kong chasing. In the last 500 meters, China continued to draw away to take first position in 6:24.70, with Japan holding off a rapidly closing Hong Kong – finishing in 6:27.79 and 6:29.76 respectively. Indonesia were 4th, India 5th and Uzbekistan 6th, with only the top 3 finalists qualifying for Rio.

Experienced Hong Kong stroke-man Tang Chiu Mang is no stranger to the course in Chungju, having won two silver medals here at the Asian Games in 2014. His partner, 22-year old Chiu, only took up rowing in the summer of 2013 however, after switching from the HKSI windsurfing programme. He was recruited via a Talent Identification Programme and this is his first major international success.

The heartbreak came in the lightweight women’s double sculls, where experienced single sculler Lee Ka Man was paring up with her younger sister Lee Yuen Yin. Times from the heats showed that there were at least five crews capable of challenging for the three qualifying places available for Rio in this event. This was confirmed in a thrilling final. SEA Games champions, Vietnam sprinted out from the start but were soon overhauled by the favourites, Japan, with Hong Kong, Korea and Iran almost level in third as the boats passed the halfway mark. Going into the final quarter of the race, Iran fell off the pace whilst Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong all sprinted for the line. It was a photo finish and, sadly, Hong Kong came out on the wrong side of the qualifying positions with Korea second in 7:06.89, Vietnam third in 7:07.32 and Hong Kong missing out – just 0.19s adrift in 7:07.51.

In the men’s single sculls, veteran sculler Law Hiu Fung also narrowly missed out on a qualifying place after he finished just over a second behind Uzbekistan in the B Final for an overall ranking of 8th – with seven crews qualifying for Rio.

Head Coach Chris Perry shared the high and low feelings of his rowers after the event “Obviously the whole team is absolutely delighted with the result achieved by the men’s lightweight double. The combination was only formed after trials at the beginning of this season, and they have made incredible progress. Tang, as the stroke-man showed his maturity and experience in leading the crew, and he lived up again to his nickname of “Turbo” – powering the crew in the sprint finish. For his partner Chiu, to be qualifying for an Olympic Games after only taking up the sport in 2013 is an incredible achievement, and testimony to the partnership between the Hong Kong Sports Institute and the Hong Kong, China Rowing Association (HKCRA) in talent identification.

At the same time I feel devastated for the women’s crew. They raced an absolutely fantastic race, and put in the fastest last 500 meters of any crew in the event. It is tragic to miss out by just 0.19 seconds in a photo finish. Of course, this is the nature of sport at top Olympic level and the athletes can still be very proud that they put in their best performance of the season in the race. They could not have done more. Korea and Vietnam have qualified crews in both the women’s singles and doubles so, according to the rules, they must give up one of these events. If they give up the double, then Hong Kong will be next in line for the place but, unfortunately, it is more likely they will give up the singles in order to have a larger number of athletes in Rio. This will be known in the next two weeks and we shall have to wait and see. Law Hiu Fung will not benefit from any extra place in the men’s single, as Hong Kong have already qualified in the double and the same rules apply”.

HK Cricket Match Report: Women’s Twenty20 Cup – 24 April 2016

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Women’s Twenty20 Cup – 24 April 2016

HKCC Cavaliers v HKCC Willow Wielders
The two HKCC women’s teams played a rescheduled derby game to bring the curtain down on the 2015-16 Women’s League and T20 Cup season.

Cavaliers won the toss and put the Willow Wielders in to bat first. The Cavaliers bowlers struck early and had the much-vaunted Willow Wielders batting attack struggling at 4/29 with Mariko Hill not out 17. Sara Young was the only other batter to reach double-figures and Willow Wielders finished their 20 overs on 7/87. Ruchitha Venkatesh and Alvina Tam claimed two wickets each for the Cavaliers.

In reply, the early run out of Natural Yip dented the Cavaliers chances but a solid 22 from Emma Lai had them sitting pretty at 2/51. However, Emma’s dismissal saw the Cavalier’s innings collapse to 75 all out. Chan Sau Ha and Annie Ho picked up two wickets each for the Willow Wielders.
At HKCC: HKCC Willow Wielders 7/87 from 20 overs beat HKCC Cavaliers 75 from 19.3 overs by 12 runs.

The Willow Wielders victory saw them sweep the Women’s League and Women’s T20 Cup titles for the 2015-16 season. The Willow Wielders have now won seven consecutive Women’s League titles and four consecutive T20 Cup titles.