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Mark Chapman

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:47 pm
by greyblazer
Just read it for interest :)

The story of Mark Chapman and Hong Kong's giant strides

On July 21, 2015, the sparse crowd in Malahide (Ireland) remained transfixed as Hong Kong's Mark Chapman with cheeky scoops, laps and paddle sweeps, hauled his country to a memorable win against Afghanistan. As nerves were taut and fingernails chomped, Chapman took them to the doorstep of victory.

A match filled with tension and drama eventually ended as Hong Kong emerged victorious off the last ball. As the players draped themselves with Hong Kong's flag to celebrate their qualification for the World T20 2016, one couldn't stop marvelling the attacking intent and self-belief shown by the 21-year-old Chapman.

"Obviously the main priority was to qualify for the World T20 next year, and to not only achieve that but to knock over two of the favourites in Ireland and Afghanistan in the tournament was very satisfying," Chapman told after they qualified for the mega-event to be held in India.

A few months later in the desert of UAE, Chapman was at it again. While playing his first game of the tour, he anchored Hong Kong's innings to perfection against UAE. With teasing spells of flight and turn, the spin duo of Ahmed Raza and Zaheer Maqsood removed Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat to stall Hong Kong's progress. However, Chapman was undeterred. He gauged the pace of the wicket admirably and chose calculation over taking undue risks to compose a sure-footed century on his ODI debut. Incidentally, his knock of 124 not out turned out to the second highest ODI score on debut.

"It's a pretty good feeling and even more so getting the first ODI win for Hong Kong. That's quite a big step, we've played quite a few games, so to get a win and climb up the ladder in the WCLC is quite a big thing," Chapman was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

He added: "I didn't actually know the statistics. I'd heard rumours that it might have been up there, but to be second in the list is an honour, and it's something that no one can erase, so it's something I am very proud of."

Chapman superbly blends style and substance. With a healthy dose of poise and balance at the crease, he can explore every nook and cranny of the ground to keep the runs flowing. His batting is also juxtaposed by his ability to shift gears and improvise. In short, the unassuming cricketer quietly goes about his work of amassing runs at a fair clip.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chapman was first introduced to cricket when he joined the Hong Kong Cricket Club. At the tender age of 15, when Chapman played in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, he and Jamie Atkinson, were earmarked for success. Hong Kong's head coach (now the Director of cricket), Charlie Burke, recognised Chapman's immense potential and he was soon drafted into the national side for the World Cricket League Division 3 in 2011.

Despite the univocal approval of Chapman's skills, there was an inkling that the precociously talented cricketer was pushed too early to play for the national side. Chapman though, gave an emphatic riposte to his doubters with an innings of 70 against Papua New Guinea in the final of WCL 3 in Kowloon. While chasing down a target of 203, Chapman flourished and showed rarefied expertise to bisect the gaps in the field. Despite P&G making incisions at the other end, Chapman was a symbol of crispness and authority at the crease. Hong Kong crossed the finish line and won the game by four wickets.

Burke who has been praised for his work as ICC's Development Officer in the East Asia Pacific region and as the head coach of Hong Kong, reflects on the promising cricketer. "Mark Chapman is one of the brightest associate cricketers both as a batsmen and fielder. He is a delight to coach due to his work ethic and commitment. His achievements so far for Hong Kong have been outstanding, averaging over 50 in List A cricket and of course his century on debut and the only century for a Hong Kong player in an ODI is proof he is a quality cricketer," he told Cricbuzz.

"Mark is one of the first selected, not just because of his performances but also the way he conducts himself and sets high standards amongst the player group. We haven't seen the best of him, the exciting thing is I know he is still 2-3 years away before the cricket world will see the best of Chapman," he opined.

Even in the WCL 2 that year, Chapman underpinned those attributes of discipline, timing and placement to shine brightly against UAE, Namibia and Uganda. Since then Chapman has been an integral part of the national set-up. Remember, the current vice-captain of Hong Kong is also known for his fielding skills and can twirl a few overs of left-arm spin as well.

Yes, there have been occasions when he made himself unavailable to play for the country as he was attending the university. He had also torn cruciate ligaments in his knee while playing rugby for King's College in 2012 that saw him being sidelined for close to 18 months.

"I guess coming to a rugby-mad nation, it's something that could be expected. I missed the cricket season before this one to make sure I was fit," Chapman told the Otago Daily Times. Chapman has since "given up rugby" as "there are too many injuries from rugby - I'm not big enough."

Chapman also has had to juggle between his studies and cricket for sometime now. At present, he is pursuing mechanical engineering in Auckland, New Zealand. But with him being a half-Chinese (his mother is a Chinese and father from New Zealand), Hong Kong's administration is banking upon Chapman to popularise the game among the indigenous youth in the country.

It is still an uphill task for the hard-working CEO of Hong Kong Cricket, Tim Cutler. Compared to football and badminton, cricket is relatively a minor sport. There are around 600-700 cricketers to choose from for the national side and most of them are expats. They also have 3 turf wickets in the country.

However, Hong Kong's administration has always tried to push the envelope of possibility and in May 2014, they reaped the rewards for it by gaining ODI status. Recently, Li Kai Ming was signed by the Big Bash franchise (Sydney Sixes) as a 'Community Rookie'. He is the first Chinese cricketer to be signed by a Big Bash franchise.

Chapman himself is considering his options as he has a dual citizenship and he is eligible to play for New Zealand. If Chapman decides to opt out of playing for Hong Kong, it is going to be a huge loss for the fledgling associate nation. He plays for the Parnell Cricket Club and there is a chance that he might get picked for Auckland Second XI in the near future.

At just 21, Chapman still has a long road ahead of him to be a successful cricketer. However, in his short career, he has indubitably shown enough pluck and steel. It can be exemplified by his mettlesome knock in the World T20 2014 against Afghanistan. In that game, Dawlat Zadran had smashed Chapman's helmet with a nasty bouncer. However, Chapman put that blow behind him and went on to notch up a vital innings of 38. Chapman seems to have the inner strength to wade through difficult periods, the zest to broaden his game, and the adaptability to effortlessly shift gears as the situation demands.

Here is the link: ... nt-strides

Re: Mark Chapman

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:27 pm
by dan08
Good player. He's already in the Auckland first team.

Re: Mark Chapman

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:56 pm
by dan08
Made 157 off 111 balls for Auckland in NZ's one-day tournament.