Sydney, Nov 23: Ming Li today created history by becoming the first-ever Chinese cricketer to sign up for an international Twenty20 league as he was handed a rookie contract by Big Bash League (BBL) team Sydney Sixers.
The 24-year-old Li, a legspinner, took to cricket after watching videos of his idol Shane Warne on YouTube. Now, he has been signed up by Australia's Twenty20 franchise - Sydney Sixers, as part of the "Cricket Australia Rookie Program".
"The Sixers have created history today, signing the first ever Chinese player to the BBL as the Club's Community Rookie," Sixers said on their website today (November 23).
"Ming Li, who is 24 years old and from Hong Kong, will join the Club for the summer under the Cricket Australia Rookie Program. Having played cricket since 2004, Ming made his debut for Hong Kong in 2010 when the team toured Papua New Guinea, followed by selection for the 2010 (Guangzhou) and 2014 (Incheon) Asian Games," they added.
Li said, "I would like to thank the Hong Kong Cricket Association, the Sydney Sixers and Cricket Australia for offering me this fantastic opportunity with one of the leading Big Bash League Clubs. Playing in this competition and being involved with such a professional outfit will really help improve my cricketing skills, knowledge and experience.
"I am very excited to be selected as the community rookie for the Sydney Sixers and I intend to make the best of this rare opportunity. My aim is to be one of the leading cricketers for Hong Kong and I look forward to the challenges this experience will provide, which I know will go a long way in helping me achieve my cricketing goals."
"He is the first Chinese player to play an official T20 match, taking to the field against Afghanistan in Sharjah during the 2012 ICC World Cup Qualifiers. His sister, Godiva, has also represented Hong Kong's Women's team in both Asian Games," the Sixers said.
Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) CEO Tim Cutler, said, "This is one of the most exciting developments in Hong Kong Cricket history. We do hope this is the start of a great relationship with the Sydney Sixers and New South Wales Cricket."
The 5th edition of BBL will be played from next month (December 17). There are 8 teams in the competition.