'Glutton for punishment' Mike Walsh returns as HKCA chairman
It's all change at the top of the Hong Kong Cricket Association with Mike Walsh returning as chairman after a break of eight years, and Rodney Miles taking over as president.
The Hong Kong Cricket Club duo will take over from Simon Millington and Saleem Shahzada, respectively, at tomorrow's annual general meeting. They come in uncontested.
"It seems I'm a glutton for punishment. This was certainly not my idea, but I have been persuaded to return after I was approached by a number of people," Walsh said yesterday.
Walsh, who was chairman for seven years until he stepped down in 2005, said his top priority would be to see that the community had a "sense of ownership" of the HKCA, push for more grounds for the game's progress locally, and continue to nurture the growth of the Hong Kong Sixes.
Walsh will chase the government for money from its Mega Events Fund to help boost the Sixes, which this year has been initially slated for October.
"We have made an application from the MEF and we are still awaiting a decision," said Walsh. "I will be more up to speed on all that's happening on this front once I take over on Wednesday."
Last year the Hong Kong Sixes went ahead without support from the MEF as the government mulled over whether to continue with the scheme to help top-class sporting events. The event received HK$3.5 million from the MEF in 2011.
With the government injecting another HK$150 million into the MEF last year - the fund began in 2009 for a three-year period with HK$100 million, of which only HK$51 million was disbursed - there is plenty of money available and Walsh's first task will be to convince the government that the Sixes deserves some.
"And here I was minding my business before I was approached to get involved again. But I'm keen to get back although one thing is certain - this time I won't be in the chair for seven years," joked Walsh.