CRICKET

Hong Kong Cricket Association secures ICC approval for Mission Road as ODI host venue

HKCA chief Tim Cutler heaps praise on all involved, including the LCSD, in improvements to help clinch much-needed status for the sports ground

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 November, 2015, 11:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 November, 2015, 11:55pm

Hong Kong can look forward to hosting high-class tournaments featuring top associate teams after the world governing body, the ICC, approved Mission Road as an official one-day international venue.

The Hong Kong Cricket Association announced yesterday that the first official match to be staged in the Tin Kwong Road venue will be against Scotland in January.

What it means is that we can rightly host home ties for the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League
Tim Cutler

Former Australian test cricketer David Boon – now an ICC match referee – visited Hong Kong two weeks ago – to inspect the ground. The International Cricket Council’ s approval is a personal triumph for HKCA chief executive Tim Cutler, who made it his goal to develop Mission Road instead of resorting to hosting matches in Guangzhou.

READ MORE: Full ODI games against big guns crucial for Hong Kong’s development, says cricket chief

“What it means is that we can rightly host home ties for the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League for associate and affiliate countries,” said Cutler, who praised the Leisure and Cultural Services Department for helping to prepare the ground, so that it would meet ICC requirements.

“The approval of Mission Road is a historic event for Hong Kong cricket and I would like to thank the HKCA staff and volunteers who worked on this project.

“The LCSD was amazing and this would not have been possible without their assistance.

“It is fitting that the first nation to play ODI cricket against us here is Scotland.

“The Scots have long proud history in Hong Kong and we have already initiated discussions with various local Scottish community groups to ensure these matches are properly publicised and celebrated.

“We have some great ideas about how to make this a great event – a true festival of cricket – and we look forward to announcing more details soon.”

After Scotland, the HKCA is hoping to stage matches against the Netherlands and Afghanistan. Mission Road could also host the Hong Kong Sixes, which the HKCA is trying to revive, as well as other tournaments.

Attaining ODI certification required a number of improvements, including amenities and security measures to prevent match-fixing.

Cutler said the association was continuing discussions with the government about ensuring cricket would not be ignored at the proposed Kai Tak Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.