'Bad boy' Nadeem returns to Hong Kong cricket squad
Nadeem Ahmed, the "bad boy", has returned to the 14-man Hong Kong squad to take part in next month's Asian Cricket Council Trophy Elite tournament in Dubai.
Left-arm spinner Nadeem, who has had a string of run-ins with local officials, makes a comeback after more than a year and his presence is timely with stalwart Munir Dar, the other leading spinner, unavailable due to personal reasons.
"We are glad that Nadeem is back in the team," said Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke. "He is training with the rest of the squad and will have a huge role to play on the big grounds and slow wickets in Dubai."
Hong Kong finished third in this event two years ago in Kuwait and Burke's aim is for a top-two finish in the last major tournament (50 overs) before the ICC World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand in 2014.
Hong Kong are pooled with Nepal, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and hosts, the United Arab Emirates in the October 1-12 tournament.
But talented left-hander Mark Chapman has been ruled out for more than a year after rupturing cruciate ligaments in his left knee while playing rugby for his school in New Zealand.
"Mark had surgery last month and I believe his rehabilitation will only be complete next August. This is a huge blow for us," Burke said. "I hope he will be available for us for the World Cup qualifiers."
The squad led by Jamie Atkinson with Waqas Barkat as deputy has three new caps - Tanwir Afzaal, Mudassar Hussain and 15-year-old Anshuman Rath.
"I expect a lot of them, especially Tanwir who is a clever bowler. Hussain's leg-spin will be useful while Rath impressed me with his discipline at the crease," Burke said.