Afzaal Haider and Ilyas Gull have emerged as two of the leading contenders to become Hong Kong's new captain - that is if the selectors aren't tempted to turn back the clock and rely on golden-oldie Rahul Sharma. Sharma, who captained Hong Kong from 2000 to 2004, revealed yesterday that he had been approached by the selectors and asked if he would be willing to captain the side once again, and for next month's all-important ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Darwin. 'Yes, I have been asked if I would captain Hong Kong. I said I would be willing to do it, but only for Darwin. This would be a one-off appointment, not a long-term thing. I have not heard back from them [selectors],' Sharma said. Tim Smart, who took over the reins from Sharma after the 2004 Asia Cup, sprung a surprise last week when he announced he was stepping down from the captaincy, and also would not be available for Darwin, due to work commitments. Sharma, 47, might be a logical choice for the vacant position. After all, it was primarily his batting exploits that earned Hong Kong a place in the final of the ACC Trophy and also a place in the ICC WCL Division Three event in Darwin. But selectors have indicated that they are looking at appointing a new captain with a long-term view. If this is the case, then strike bowler Haider or all-rounder Gull, are two of the top candidates. The selectors will announce the new captain and the 14-strong squad on Wednesday. 'We are looking for someone with an eye on the future. It won't be a stop-gap measure,' said Krishna Kumar, the Hong Kong Cricket Association's chairman of selectors. Sharma, who has been an important member of the team since 1995, said he had also suggested either Haider or Gull as a possible choice to replace Smart. 'Whoever it is, he has to be able to hold his place in the side simply on merit alone. They both qualify under this aspect, and they both have good cricketing brains too,' said Sharma. Apart from the captaincy, the HKCA will also have to address the issue surrounding coach Robin Singh, who has been appointed as fielding coach of India. Singh, whose contract with the HKCA runs until September, is likely to miss the lead-up to Darwin, as well as the first half of the tournament as India will be touring Bangladesh at the same time. Hong Kong will need to finish in the top two in the eight-team competition in Darwin to move into the ICC's WCL Division Two and enhance their chances of qualifying for the 2011 World Cup.