A five-match T20 international series between Hong Kong and Malaysia this month has been moved to the Kinrara Oval due to the novel coronavirus global health emergency affecting China.
The series was initially scheduled for February 18-22 in Hong Kong but border and travel restrictions meant the matches could not proceed as planned.
Instead, the Malaysian Cricket Association has agreed to host Hong Kong for a five-match T20 series at Kinrara on Feb 20-26.
The series forms a valuable part of both countries’ preparations for the ACC Men’s Eastern Region T20 Tournament in Thailand from Feb 29.
The finalists from the Eastern Region tournament will qualify for the Asia Cup Qualifiers with the winner of that tournament earning the right to compete at the 2020 Asia Cup.
The Malaysian national team returned from a tour of Nepal in January after competing in the South Asian country’s 50-overs domestic cup tournament and playing a three-match 50-overs series against a Nepal selection.
But this will be Malaysia’s first T20I outing since a 3-2 defeat to Vanuatu in a five-match home series last October when several senior national team players were rested to provide younger talent an opportunity to stake a claim in the national team.
In the latest ICC T20I men’s rankings released on Feb 9, Hong Kong are in 20th spot while Malaysia are ranked 39th. The series will also provide both teams the opportunity to accumulate rankings points and improve their positions.
Malaysia and Hong Kong last met in a T20 match at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea when Hong Kong won by seven wickets.
Hong Kong last visited Kuala Lumpur in August 2018 for the ACC Asia Cup Qualifier which they won to qualify for the main 50-overs event despite losing their opening match to Malaysia.
MALAYSIA v HONG KONG T20I SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb 20 – Match 1, 7.30pm
Feb 21 – Match 2, 7.30pm
Feb 23 – Match 3, 7.30pm
Feb 24 – Match 4, 2pm
Feb 26 – Match 5, 10am
All matches at Kinrara Oval.
PRIOR T20 MEETINGS
2013 ACC Twenty20 Cup, Lalitpur – Hong Kong won by 6 wickets
2014 Asian Games, Incheon – Hong Kong won by 7 wickets