‘HKI United’ to compete in 2017 Edition of the Blitz
Hong Kong, 29 November 2016 – Leonine Global Sports (LGS), the owners of Islamabad United, proudly announce the purchase of one of the five franchises in the official Hong Kong T20 league, the HK T20 Blitz. The Hong Kong Island United (HKIU) will represent the Central Island region of Hong Kong and will comprise five foreign players along with Hong Kong based cricketers. HKI United will be one of two new franchises that will be part of the second edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz in March 2017.
The Hong Kong T20 Blitz is a Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament scheduled to hold its second edition from March 8 to 12, 2017. The tournament has been expanded to a five team competition from the four that played in the inaugural edition in 2016. The 2016 event was highlighted by the signing of Australia’s World Cup winning captain, Michael Clarke.
On the occasion Amna Naqvi, owner of HKI United, talked about her and her husband Ali’s attachment to the game of cricket, and what their aims were.
“When the opportunity to buy a team in Hong Kong T20 was presented to us by the Hong Kong Cricket association, it was a ‘no brainer’ for us. This opportunity allowed us to contribute to not only the development of the sport we love, cricket, but also a city which has been home for us for over a decade – Hong Kong. On top, our experience with PSL and the fact that a lot of Pakistanis play for the Hong Kong national team, provided us with an automatic link to Pakistan and its huge fan base.”
“Cricket has over a century of history in Hong Kong,” she said. “And even though the Blitz is a smaller tournament at this stage, we thought supporting cricket in Hong Kong made complete sense for us.”
Tim Cutler, the CEO of Cricket Hong Kong, welcomed LGS and the Naqvis on board saying, “What Islamabad United have done in such a short period of time is a credit to the entire team behind the ‘United’ name, especially the leadership, drive and enthusiasm from owners Ali and Amna Naqvi. Hong Kong has been home to the Naqvis for the past thirteen years, and we are overjoyed with the fact that they chose Asia’s World City in which to host the second United franchise. Knowing their desire to develop the sport in East Asia, this development is not only exciting for the tournament, but for cricket in the region as a whole. With millions of United fans across the world to tap into, and a strong network of talent to call upon, their team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. We wish HKI United all the best and hope that this is the start of a long and mutual beneficial relationship between them and Cricket Hong Kong.”
Cricket in Hong Kong predates the sport in most of Asia with the Hong Kong Cricket Club being formed as early as 1851. For the past two decades the city has been host to the Hong Kong Sixes which have attracted international stars from the world over, and the aim of Cricket Hong Kong is to replicate that success in the T20 format too.
Islamabad United is one of the five franchise teams in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and is the winner of the first season of the PSL.
Leonine Global Sports(LGS) is the proud owner of Islamabad United, the FIRST CHAMPIONS of the Pakistan Super League. Part of the Leonine Global group, Leonine Global Sports is focused on enabling sports and creating franchises with a mission to provide: 1) A truly global experience on sports entertainment; 2) A fan base which is loyal, aware and supportive of the sport and the franchise; 3) An aspirational beacon for up and coming players to strive for excellence in cricket for Pakistan in particular and for the world at large; 4)An eco-system for the promotion of sports through close partnerships with the respective sports boards; 5)A truly professionally-run organization with exceptional standards of corporate governance and international best practices; 6) Promotion of Pakistan through sports and involvement of internationally known figures into Pakistan; 7)A responsible member on CSR.