Hong Kong squad given HK$300,000 incentive
The money will keep rolling in for Najeeb Amar and his men if they are successful at the ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Dubai next month.
At a celebratory dinner last night at the Pakistan Club, top official Shahzada Saleem revealed that the Hong Kong Cricket Association would award HK$300,000 to the men's team if they do well in the six-team competition from April 8 to 15.
'We will reward the players. This incentive has been approved by the HKCA executive committee and hopefully it will spur the side on in Dubai,' HKCA president Saleem said.
Under the incentive scheme, the squad will receive HK$150,000 if they finish in the top four and an additional HK$150,000 if they make it to the final of the tournament, which also includes Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Papua New Guinea.
'If they make it to the top four, Hong Kong will become an ICC high-performance country. What this means is that we will get additional funding of about US$300,000 per year,' Saleem said. 'If we finish in the top two, we will be promoted to Division One, which in theory could see us move a step closer to the 2015 World Cup.'
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has said that the world governing body is inclined to having a qualifying tournament for the next World Cup, which could see associate members - those in Division One - compete with the bottom two or three test-playing nations for the last few spots in a 10-team World Cup in 2015.
'We have to keep the players happy. This incentive could pave the way for the HKCA to get additional funding. You have to give something to get something in return,' Saleem said.
Captain Najeeb and his players shared HK$105,000 for winning the Division Three tournament last month. The 14-man squad for Dubai will be announced on Tuesday.