Dar back in HK squad but will have to prove his worth
Former captain and coach Tabarak Dar has been recalled to a 22-strong squad that will carry Hong Kong's fortunes in the next few months leading up to the crucial ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament.
Looking ahead to the ICC event to be played in January in Hong Kong, head coach Charlie Burke has named his first squad since taking over in May and has included his predecessor Dar.
But Burke warned that Dar and a couple of other senior players would have to earn their place in the team. Past reputations alone would cut no ice with the Australian.
'The reality is that some of our senior players, such as Tabarak Dar, Ilyas Gull and Munir Dar, may be playing their last 12 to 24 months and will need to earn their spots in any final 12,' Burke said.
The ICC tournament, the first major international cricket event to be hosted by Hong Kong, will be a pathway to the 2015 World Cup, and Burke realises the importance of doing well in the short term, though he also has an eye on the future.
'The squad in my view is the best available squad and is a great mix of senior and emerging players, and is a reflection of what Hong Kong needs in the coming two to three years,' Burke said.
'We are not only looking just at the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament but also the future of Hong Kong cricket. It is my plan to ensure we gain momentum and not just a quick fix for one tournament. We must develop players and ensure we give opportunities to younger players so we don't have a big exit of senior players at one time affecting the team,' he added.
Hong Kong squad: Nadeem Ahmed, Irfan Ahmed, Niaz Ali, Najeeb Amar, James Athinson, Waqas Barkat, Hussain Butt, Mark Chapman, Tabarak Dar, Munir Dar, Waqas Darwood, Ilyas Gull, Shakeel Haq, Nizakat Khan, Asif Khan, Anas Khan, Adil Khan, Courtney Kruger, Roy Lamsam, Nicholas Lau, Phil Pemberton, Max Tucker.
Development players: Ashish Gadhia, Miten Khatri, Li Ka-ming.