Fast Track Final Comes Quicker

What had always been anticipated as a potentially critical match, the final Fast Track Countries game between Hong Kong and UAE scheduled in February 2005 has now been awarded the status of Tournament Final.

Initially it was likely that at least one of these teams would be finalists, and the match scheduled in Hong Kong in early February prior to the Final in March was always going to be important. Now, with both teams proving themselves to be far and away the strongest in the tournament, (played three and won three) it’s fitting that rather than play twice with one low-intensity encounter, they should meet in one winner-take-all contest.

The competitive head to heads will be fascinating – none more so than Hong Kong’s veteran maestro Rahul Sharma up against UAE paceman Asad Ali; UAE’s demolition king Arshad Ali (2 hundreds and 2 fifties in three Fast Track matches) up against Hong Kong’s Afzaal Haider (nineteen wickets at 12.73).

Hong Kong on the way to victory against Singapore

According to the Hong Kong Cricket Association’s General Manager, Danny Lai, “It’ll be a great event. It makes sense all round for the UAE and Hong Kong to play just the one match. Plus it’s scheduled in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations, so the whole town will be buzzing.” The ACC Chief Executive, Syed Ashraful Huq, speaking right after the decision had been made to play the February encounter as the FTCT Final said, “We’re delighted that Hong Kong gets a chance to stage this Final as we know that they are great hosts and event organizers.”

As a result of finishing in the top three of the Fast Track Countries Tournament, Hong Kong, the UAE and Nepal qualify as Asia’s representatives for the 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup.

Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th February 2005 Hong Kong v U.A.E, FTCT Final.

FTCT Points Table : for matches played up to 7th November 2004

Team Played Won Lost Draw Total Points
Hong Kong 3 3 0 0 95.5
U.A.E. 3 3 0 0 91.5
Nepal 4 0 2 2 51.5
Singapore 4 0 2 2 47
Malaysia 4 0 2 2 42.5

Filed November 9 2004