Players deserve applause
THE report from Kenya in Wednesday's Sports Post did not really do justice to a fine effort by our cricket squad at the ICC Trophy.
Our team finished in seventh place but was in fact probably the fifth-best side, based on our narrow loss to Bermuda. We are aware that our batsman can do much better but remember that they scored more runs, more quickly than any other team in the openinground.
Had we not qualified for the quarter-finals the averages of our players would have been much better; so would this be construed as success? True, several of our players are approaching the end of their playing careers. However, they have served Hong Kong well and will eventually leave the international cricketing scene with heads held high as our cricket stands at its highest point ever.
The success in this tournament follows hard on the Sixes wins over Australia, Pakistan and West Indies. Hong Kong are also regional champions, being undefeated in winning the annual competition with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in both 1992 and 1993.
It would have been nice if our international squad could have had the continuous coaching and competitive overseas tours in preparation for Kenya, which other sides enjoyed, but that would take a lot of funding and our side is a wholly amateur side.
If our amateur side can do as well as it did then surely there must be a place for us? There is a proposal to split the ICC Trophy Teams into two divisions of 10 teams each. On the basis of this year's results, Hong Kong deserves a place in the first division.
The Hong Kong Cricket Association would like to congratulate our captain Patrick Fordham, coach Dermot Reeve and the whole touring party; we are proud of their achievements in Kenya. Yes, we can do better and we shall.
In closing I would like to thank all of your readers who supported the tour in cash or kind. Their assistance is greatly appreciated.
PETER SLACK Chairman, HKCA