Hong Kong teenager Chris Carter puts studies on hold to focus on cricket tours to Ireland and Scotland
The 18-year-old is named in a 26-strong senior squad to play Intercontinental Cup, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches
Chris Carter returned to Hong Kong two years ago hoping to have fun playing social cricket while preparing for life as a university student in the United Kingdom. Now, he is looking at cricket as a possible career path as he puts his studies on hold to tour Scotland and Ireland with the Hong Kong senior squad, which was named on Wednesday.
The 18-year-old Carter was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Perth, Australia while his father, a pilot, was still based in the city. Two years ago, the whole family moved back to Hong Kong, where Carter plays for the Kowloon Cricket Club.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was on Wednesday named in a 26-strong national squad for the tour of Ireland and Scotland in August and September. Fourteen members of the squad are contracted players, including captain Tanwir Afzal.
“When I first went to KCC, [batting coach] Ryan Campbell said give it a bit of time and you could get into the national team,” said Carter, who is hoping to pursue a degree in economics and finance either at Hong Kong University or King’s College in London.
“I laughed it off because I thought I would play socially and for fun. That’s actually what led to my success. The more I enjoyed myself and better I performed.
“I’ve had my first taste of pro cricket and saw how seriously they take it and what opportunities are there,” added Carter, who toured with Hong Kong to United Arab Emirates last year. “After I returned from that tour, I decided to delay my studies and dedicate my time to cricket.”
Carter has played two one-day internationals for Hong Kong – against United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan last year – and seven Twenty20 matches. He will be trying to dislodge veteran former captain Jamie Atkinson as first-choice keeper-batsman.
Together with Anshuman Rath, Giacomo Lamplough and Li Kai-ming, among others, the squad boast a wealth of young talent.
“Jamie and I are good mates and there’s a bit of rivalry,” said Carter. “Jamie plays a lot more freely as a batsman and knows himself. I’m discovering my own game and knowing how to play my game and not be something I’m not.”
Hong Kong face Ireland in a first-class Intercontinental Cup match and two T20 internationals before travelling to Edinburgh where they will try to retain the Braidwood Cup against Scotland in two ODIs.
Hong Kong also face Kenya in a World Cricket League clash in November.
Charlie Burke, director of cricket at the Hong Kong Crick Association, said the senior squad and the A squad named on Wednesday offered local cricket the depth and talent to succeed at the 2018 ICC World Cup qualifiers.
“It is a very clear sign by the selectors that they have selected players based on performances and also with one eye on the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers which will be played in 2018,” said Burke.
“The young squad is vibrant, enthusiastic and dedicated. It’s always nice to have a few fresh faces which lifts everyone.
“The squad will be the most competitive I have seen in my time in Hong Kong, this only encourages me with the fact we have some big tours coming up later this year, and the importance of domestic performances.”
2016-17 National Squad
Tanwir Afzal (Pakistan Association) *
Nadeem Ahmed (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC) *
Imran Arif (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Tanveer Ahmed (Kowloon Cricket Club) *
James Atkinson (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Waqas Barkat (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Mark Chapman (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *
Ashley Caddy (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Christopher Carter (Kowloon Cricket Club) *
Ninad Shah (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Kinchit Shah (Kowloon Cricket Club) *
Raag Kapur (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Babar Hayat (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC) *
Giacomo Lamplough (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *
Li Kai-ming (HKCA Dragons) *
Adil Mehmood (Kowloon Cricket Club) *
Cameron McAulsen (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Ehsan Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Nizakat Khan (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *
Aizaz Khan (Pakistan Assoc.) *
Ehsan Nawaz (Kowloon Cricket Club) *
Anshuman Rath (Hong Kong Cricket Club) *
Waqas Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Jhathavedh Subramanyan (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Shahid Wasif (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Kabir Sodhi (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
2016-17 National ‘A’ Squad (including
Daniyal Bukhari (Pakistan Association)
Sunny Bhimsaria (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Adit Gorawara (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Akbar Khan (Vegabonds CC)
Anas Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Mohsin Khan (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Mohammad Khan (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Ansh Lulla (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Ahan Manglik (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Saad Mohammad (Vagabonds/Pakistan Association.)
Haroon Arshad Mohammad (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Huzafah Mohammad (Pakistan Association)
Awais Mohammad (USRC)
Ravi Mulchandani (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Angus Robson (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Vishal Sharma (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Tej Sheopuri (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Karandeep Singh (Diasqua Little Sai Wan CC)
Simandeep Singh (Kowloon Cricket Club)
Mohammad Umar (USRC)
Sikandar Zafar (USRC)
Ateeq Ur-Rehman (Kowloon Cricket Club)