Bumper year for Hong Kong cricket
The year 2010 was an excellent vintage for the Hong Kong Cricket Association, but a lot remained to be done, chairman Dinesh Tandon warned.
Tandon, president Shahzada Saleem and the executive committee's 10 other members will return unchallenged at tonight's annual general meeting at Kowloon Cricket Club.
'I'm happy to say we have made excellent progress over the past couple of years and are pleased with the direction in which we are going,' Tandon said. 'But we realise this is just the beginning and a lot of hard work remains to be done.'
Success at all levels on the playing field, both men and women, was capped by Hong Kong's promotion to the ICC World Cricket League Division Two. By finishing fourth in the six-team competition in Dubai in April, Hong Kong became an ICC high-performance country and eligible for annual funding of US$350,000.
The women's team successfully defended their title as ACC champions, while the under-19 men's team finished in the top four in the regional competition. Both the men's and women's teams also featured at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in December.
'The ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Hong Kong last January was a huge success and we were commended by ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat who attended,' Tandon said.
'[That] has led to Hong Kong being awarded the ICC annual conference which takes place later this month. The Hong Kong Sixes has re-established itself as a fun tournament on the international scene and getting China down last year was a landmark as we continue to help the game develop on the mainland.'
On the home front, the game received a boost when Karp Group, title sponsors at the Hong Kong Sixes, decided to broaden its involvement and commit more than HK$5 million to the game over the next four years. The decision by Now TV to show highlight packages of the domestic Elite Player Series was another feather in the cap for the HKCA.
'Our focus in the next few years will be on development at grass roots for local kids and finding grounds,' Tandon said.
'Hopefully, the ICC conference will help raise awareness.'