Vincent 'front-runner' to coach HK batsmen
Former New Zealand test and one-day batsman Lou Vincent is set to become Hong Kong's batting coach as the team embark on an international calendar which includes qualification tournaments for the ICC World Cups - Twenty20 and 50 overs.
Vincent, 32, is among the leading candidates for the position as the first specialist batting coach. It is understood former test players from Australia and Sri Lanka, have also shown an interest. 'Lou is the front-runner and we are looking at a contract of four or five months initially,' Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke said. 'I have spoken to him and he is keen to come here.'
With funds from the ICC's high-performance grant (US$350,000 annually) for remaining in the World Cricket League Division Two, it was decided a batting coach was a necessity. Frailties were highlighted in Dubai in April when Hong Kong's top-order batsmen struggled for runs.
'It is not so much about technique but mindset. We need someone to address the mental aspects of batting and Lou fits the bill. It is important to get someone with experience in tests as well as one-day cricket,' Burke said.
Vincent played 23 tests for New Zealand (1,332 runs) and 102 one-dayers (2,413 runs). He holds the record for the biggest total - 172 - for New Zealand in a one-day international.
Vincent has been approached by Kowloon Cricket Club to play in the Premier League. He will accompany the national team to Papua New Guinea in November as well as to India as Hong Kong build up to the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 in Nepal.
'Our next big international assignment is the ACC Twenty20 which is a pre-qualifier for the ICC T20 World Cup. But we are also looking ahead to the World Cup [50 overs] qualifiers in Scotland in 2013, and it is with this in mind that we have gone ahead with appointing a specialist batting coach,' Burke said.
Hong Kong will have to finish in the top two in Nepal (eight-team competition) to earn a ticket to the world qualifying competition in Dubai early next year. Only two teams from this competition will make it through to the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next summer.