On Wednesday, India and Hong Kong clashed on the cricket field for the first time in four years. The venue and tournament remain the same - Dubai International Cricket Stadium and occasion Asia Cup 2022.
On paper a man-to-man comparisons makes for pretty unfair matchups. Indian team is brimming with superstars while Hong Kong’s squad is made up of men who are playing the game out of pure love and passion, and cannot rely on cricket to earn their livelihoods unlike their opponents at the Asia Cup.
ASIA CUP 2022: FULL COVERAGE | SCHEDULE | RESULTS
Among them is a 19-year-old pacer Ayush Shukla who is still in University. On Wednesday, the young pacer had his moment in the sun when he got rid of India captain and one of the finest batters in modern-day cricket history Rohit Sharma.
Shukla made his international professional debut in June this year in a one-day match against Italy. A month later, he made his T20I debut.
He has played 10 List A games and has taken 9 wickets in them at 35.55 including a best of 2/47. Before tonight’s match, he had five wickets from as many T20Is to his name.
Ayush outfoxed Rohit with a slow off-cutter with the India opener committing an error by being early into his shot, getting a top-edge as he went for a pull.
Rohit had just gotten into the groove by belting two fours and a six but his innings was cut short on 21 by the teenager.
Hong Kong coach Trent Johnson revealed that a majority of his players are employed in a variety of professions.
“Three or four players do private coaching, either at a cricket club or one-on-one coaching," Johnston told ESPNcricinfo. “A high percentage of the boys are delivery drivers with Food Panda or Deliveroo. Kinchit Shah, the vice-captain, is in the jewellery trade. Scott McKechnie has his own business that offers him a slight flexibility to come on out as long as he has internet. Young Ayush, our opening bowler, is in university. A couple of guys are doing administration."
Get the latest Cricket News, Schedule and Cricket Live Scores here