Scotland’s George Munsey has recently returned from Hong Kong where he participated in the second edition of the country’s T20 franchise competition, the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
The tournament took place over five days in early March 8-12, 2017 and had some of the game’s biggest names from around the globe, descending on Mission Road in Mong Kok.
The 24-year-old was the final Scottish player drafted and played for Hong Kong Island United, along with former Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq, and England top-order batsman Ian Bell.
Some other notable stars who participated in Cricket Hong Kong’s showpiece event were Sri Lanka greats Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara.
Darren Sammy, from the West Indies, was also in southern Asia for the T20 Blitz.
“It was a great tournament and experience to be a part of something which is pretty big and growing,” Munsey said.
“It was a bit bizarre,” he added.
“Walking out [to bat] – and I’m looking to the man on my left [Bell] – it was fantastic to see his calmness at the crease, to just go out and whack balls from the start, not a care in the world.
“It’s refreshing to see, no nerves, and it’s something I’m going to try to be better at; just go out and backing myself from ball one.
There was a disappointment, though, Hong Kong Island United did not make the final, losing two of their three games.
“It was tough to not make the final, [we had a] really good team but our batting unit didn’t really kick on.
“I was disappointed in myself, not getting the starts,” he said.
However, despite the poor, overall performance, there were many positives to take from the experience.
“I learnt a lot through [playing with] Misbah and Ian Bell and [watching them] go about their processes, which was fantastic, and showed me that I’m not that far off the pace; going to these big tournaments and seeing how the big stars [prepare] is great to see.
The opening batsman’s international team-mates, Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod were also drafted.
The skipper to City Kai Tak and MacLeod was picked up by the Kowloon Cantons and both teams reached the final.
MacLeod’s Kowloon Cantons came out on top, beating Coetzer’s side in the final.
The Scotland captain did, however, star with the bat, scoring with 63 off 36 balls in the final as City Kai Tak, went down by 25 runs.
Munsey is happy for his fellow countrymen’s success and believes that Scotland’s players are not too far behind their more stellar opponents in the game.
The Saltires have not had much cricket since the 2016 World T20 in India but recent fixtures have been announced.
Matches against Full members Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, as well as the Associate nation Namibia, this forthcoming summer, have been scheduled.
He said: “Seeing your team-mates doing well all over the world, in different countries, is fantastic.
“The processes we do back home and indoors is good enough because when we go play against these big players, you tend to think that they’re so much better than you, to be honest.
“They are better at the moment because they’ve had all these experiences all over the world and played so many games of cricket, but we’ve got to take confidence in the way we train.
“It’s at a high level and we’ve got to believe that and carry it into the [international] matches.”
A squad of 21 players is leaving for some warm weather training at La Manga.
The resort is used by ICC Europe for academies, Centres of Excellence and tournaments and is also home to the Spanish National Cricket Team and La Manga Cricket Club.
Its pitches are the venue for all major Spanish tournaments and attract visiting sides from the UK, Europe and Asia primarily.
“Fortunately, we’ve got a trip to Spain,” he said.
“We’re going to get outside and train hard. It’s different to be back in the rain and training indoors.
“We’ve got a lot scheduled before our first games against Sri Lanka in Kent, we’re going to work hard and get ready.”
Featured image of George Munsey is courtesy of Cricket Scotland and Donald MacLeod