HK coach refuses to panic after disastrous tour of PNG

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am

Charlie Burke isn't running for the alarm bell just yet. The Hong Kong head coach, who returned yesterday from the disastrous short tour of Papua New Guinea, believes the squad can learn from being thumped in both the 50-overs and Twenty20 formats at the Air Niugini Supa Series last week.

'I'm definitely not panicking. Yes we lost all our games, but I'm not reading too much into these results,' he said. 'What matters is we learn from this tour, especially improve on our fitness.'

Hong Kong lost all three 50-over matches to the host nation, Singapore and Malaysia before repeating in the Twenty20 series that followed. Woeful batting was to blame for the defeats.

'We lost our discipline, particularly in our batting. The guys were playing a lot of get-out shots. Even in Twenty20, you have 120 balls and there is time for a lot of cricket, but we didn't adapt.' Burke said.

Hong Kong were missing a number of key players on tour including the Ahmed brothers, Nadeem and Irfan, who were both in England. The 15-strong squad only comprised players who were eligible for the Asian Games.

'I gave all our younger players a bat and a bowl and tried them out. They all know they have a lot of work to do and individuals know they will have to tighten up technically.'

Burke warned that the senior players who were on tour would have to brush up and prove they were worthy of a place, especially in the team for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament to be played here in January. 'A number of senior players will need to work on their game if they want to remain in the side for the World Cricket League,' said Burke, who will announce the men's and women's squads for the Asian Games next week.

Hong Kong's build-up for both the Asian Games and the WCL will continue at home next week when they host the visiting Melbourne Premier League side Footscray Edgewater in three 50-over matches and four Twenty20s.