HK drop Ahmed for 'bad attitude'
Left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed has been told to 'clean up his act' after being dropped from the Hong Kong national squad.
A poor disciplinary record has cost Nadeem a place in a 20-strong squad chosen yesterday for the next season. Players from this squad will be in the running for a berth in the 14-man team for the ACC Twenty20 championships in Nepal in December, the first step in the qualifying process for the World Twenty20.
'Nadeem has been dropped because of a poor attitude,' Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke said. 'Unfortunately, we have had a few disciplinary issues with him. We have given him plenty of opportunities but have now decided he must clean up his act.'
Nadeem, 24, the elder brother of all-rounder Irfan Ahmed, was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Nadeem fell foul of Hong Kong team officials during the ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Dubai in April. This had led to him being dropped for the opening game against Uganda. He had also had disciplinary issues playing for Little Sai Wan in the local league last season.
'While you couldn't fault his on-field commitment, the same couldn't be said off the field,' Burke said. 'He missed a few curfews in Dubai which led to him being dropped for one match. He has to have a serious think about what he wants to do and there has to be a huge turnaround in his attitude if he wants to continue playing for Hong Kong.'
Nadeem, who first represented Hong Kong when he was 16 - he played his first one-day international at the 2004 Asia Cup in Colombo - has now been placed in the Hong Kong 'A' team.
'We have given him one more chance to prove he is serious about playing cricket,' Burke said. 'We will monitor his progress in the A team and see what his commitment is to that squad. We will also take into account his obligations to Little Sai Wan before reassessing his chances. But right now he is not in the reckoning for selection for Hong Kong.'
Nadeem and up-and-coming fast bowler Adil Mehmood were the only players from the Dubai squad missing (former skipper Najeeb Amar has since retired) in the 20 named. Mehmood is unfortunate to miss out as he falls under the four-year eligibility rules, as do four other players who have been picked - Mark Ferguson, Mark Wright, Tanvir Afzaal and Babar Hayat, who was crowned Player of the Season in 2010-11.
'It would be crazy to pick more than three on tour as only two can play,' Burke said.
The top three teams from the ACC Twenty20 in Nepal will make it to the 16-team world qualifiers in Dubai early next year. Six teams from this competition will join the 10 test-playing nations at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in June next year.
Hong Kong Squad
Locally based players: Nizakat Khan, Roy Lamsam, Aizaz Khan, Waqas Barkat, Mark Wright, Hussain Butt, Mark Ferguson, Kinchit Shah, Tanvir Afzaal, Irfan Ahmed, Asif Khan, Babar Hayat, Amanat Khan, Waqar Dawood, Asif Khan, Courtney Kruger. Overseas-based players: Jamie Atkinson, Mark Chapman, Max Tucker, Alex Smith.