Development of Chinese players is 'No 1 priority'
The development of Chinese players will take priority for Hong Kong cricket whose international future will depend on increased participation of local players in the national sides, said top official Rodney Miles.
Miles, who was elected unopposed for a second consecutive term as president of the Hong Kong Cricket Association last week, said the growth of the game in Hong Kong was closely linked to the development of Chinese players, a prerequisite for continued support from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
"It is a definite ICC requirement for future strong support that indigenous players have significant representation in the national teams of all associate countries," Miles said.
"The development of Chinese players in our national sides is the number one priority of the Hong Kong Cricket Association. Hong Kong is a multicultural society and we must reflect that in our national side," Miles added.
At present the men's team is largely made up of ethnic Pakistanis with skipper Jamie Atkinson being one of the few British players in the side. Apart from Roy Lamsam, there are no Chinese players in the team. Over half of the women's team, however, are Chinese.
"All cricket bodies internationally are being encouraged to support indigenous players and local development in order to compete internationally rather than expatriates. The ICC has made it very clear that our direction should change to this emphasis on a long-term basis if we are to maximise the support given from them," Miles said.
Miles said it was crucial the face of local cricket change to garner more government support.
"If we are to obtain support from Government and the community, for example the district councils for more grounds, there must be representative Chinese playing cricket for Hong Kong," Miles said.