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Full-time contracts awarded to Hong Kong cricketers

Cricket Hong Kong has announced a group of 29 players who will be in the reckoning to play for Hong Kong. Apart from them, a group of 15 players are named for the 'A' squad.

Hong Kong team
Hong Kong team. (Photo by Joseph Johnson-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Cricket Hong Kong has announced a squad of 44 cricketers who will be under the radar for selection in the national squad. Hong Kong is building a team to compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Qualifiers. Simon Cook, the coach of the national side, was happy with the squad he picked.

In an unprecedented move, Cricket Hong Kong has awarded full-time contracts to 16 players in the squad and 11 of these players training will be funded by the cricket Board. 15 players are named in the ‘A’ squad of Hong Kong out of which 3 are under-16 cricketers who are looked at as a future prospect.

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“As a group of selectors we believe these 44 players are the best players in Hong Kong and are the next in line for the immediate future,” coach Cook said.

“There are three under-16s in there who might be more long term and there are others that could come into consideration but we are confident in this group. The national squad will train up to 30 hours a week and the ‘A’ squad will generally train around 8 hours a week, which includes Conditioning and technical sessions,” he added.

There are 13 more cricketers who are in the pool of players for the national team. 20-year old Shahid Wasif, who is of Pakistan descent, earned a full-time contract following decent showings. Speaking about Wasif’s giant strides, Cook said that the batsman has been impressive.

“His attitude and natural ability have impressed all that have come into contact with him and we are looking for the same level of improvement over the next 12 months as we near the end of the WCL cycle and World Cup Qualifiers,”  Cook said

The duo of Jason Lui and Sigfried Waihe from CHK Sportsroad Dragons, a club in Hong Kong,  have been included in the squad for the first time.

“The continued progression of the Dragons team has meant that this year we are able to select Jason Lui and Sigfried Wai into the program on merit. We hope that these two players will progress in the same way as [Li Kai] Ming has done, this is quantified by looking at Ming’s Sunday league bowling performances this year which has been outstanding and highlights why he deserves his national squad position,” said Cook.

Cook was happy to work with a large group of cricketers who include players from different countries other than Hong Kong.

“Both have proved that they have the potential going forward and have much more to come. With the profile of Hong Kong Cricket at an all-time high the pool of players that the selectors can choose from is not just national anymore but global,” he added.

Cook underlined that with so much competition, players need to work hard to keep their place in the squad. “This means that players now have to work really hard to get into any Hong Kong representative squad and work even harder to stay there. This has been highlighted with 7 players being removed from our national squads as new players pass them by and are given the chance to excel.”

Hong Kong is an associate member of the ICC since 1969. They played their first ODI in 2004 and till date have featured in 18 ODI games winning 6 of them. They have taken part in the 2014 and 2016 World T20, which prompted ICC to give them T20 status. They have won just 10 out of their 24 T20 games played so far. In January 2014, the ICC granted them ODI status until 2018 as the national team finished third in the 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Hong Kong Contracted players:

Tanwir Afzal (PACC), Nadeem Ahmed (DLSWCC), Tanveer Ahmed (KCC), Chris Carter (KCC), Babar Hayat (DLSWCC), Adil Mehmood (KCC), Waqas Khan (DLSWCC), Nizakat Khan (HKCC), Aizaz Khan (KCC), Ehsan Nawaz (KCC), Mark Chapman (HKCC and Auckland), Kinchit Shah (KCC), Giacomo Lamplough (HKCC), Anshuman Rath (HKCC), Ehsan Khan (DLSWCC), Shahid Wasif (DLSWCC).

National Squad:

Jamie Atkinson (KCC), Waqas Barkat (KCC), Ninad Shah (KCC), Li Kai Ming (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Awais (USRC), Mohammad Umar (USRC), Matt Stiller (KCC), Raag Kapur (HKCC), Cameron McAulsen (HKCC), Jhathavedh Subramanyan (HKCC), Kabir Sodhi (HKCC), Kyle Christie (Perth), Haroon Arshad Mohammad (DLSWCC).

Hong Kong A squad:

Kalhan Challu (KCC), Sunny Bhimsaria (KCC), Adit Gorawara (KCC), Akbar Khan (SLCC), Mohammad Osama (DLSWCC), Harprett Singh (DLSWCC), Devang Bulsara (KCC), Wajid Shah (Kent), Siegfried Wai (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Saad (Vagabonds), Jason Lui (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Huzafah (Vagabonds), Hameed Khan (PACC), Vishal Sharma (KCC), Karandeep Singh (DLSWCC),Simandeep Singh (KCC), Hassan Khan (PACC), Sikandar Zafar (USRC), She Yar Saeed (DLSWCC), Qasim Khan (PACC), Angus Robson (HKCC), Tej Sheopuri (HKCC), Suhaib Ahmed (KCC), Imran Arif (KCC), Ashley Caddy (KCC).

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