Cricket Hong Kong: rebranded governing body has new look to reflect city’s status in global game
Shedding the Hong Kong Cricket Association name, officials hope to entice more converts to the sport from the local community
After 48 years, the Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) as we know it is officially no more with the local body rebranding itself as Cricket Hong Kong to reflect the giant strides the game has taken in the professional era.
Cricket Hong Kong officials are hoping a new logo, new name and fresh outlook will take the game to new heights in the city while continuing to build on its major achievements, which includes the men’s Twenty20 side who at No 14 are Hong Kong’s highest-ranking international team.
CHK chief executive Tim Cutler said the rebranding is partly aimed at raising the profile of cricket so that the Hong Kong community can be proud of the sport’s successes.
“If we go back in time to 1995, there were no employees [at the HKCA] and we were playing occasional competitions,” said Cutler. “Fast forward to 2011 and we were winning the league division three, we almost qualified for the World Cup and we attained one-day status and have 20 employees.
“This rebranding is really a reflection of both the exciting cricket that we play and the vibrant diversity that is Hong Kong.
“We have gone from an amateur body run by enthusiastic volunteers to a genuine professional sporting federation. We’ve played in two T20 World Cups and now we have 15 male professional players and 10 women on support contracts.
“It’s a testament to Hong Kong that we have fewer than 1,000 male cricketers and we are beating the likes of Bangladesh who have tens of millions and where it’s a national sport and a religion.
“Cricket Hong Kong reflects that change, which has been going on for a long time.”
Cricket has been played in Hong Kong for more than 100 years but the official governing body was only formed in 1968 in order to meet ICC requirements to take part in international competitions.
The Hong Kong men’s team are firmly established in the second tier of world cricket and are holding their own in the ICC Intercontinental four-day competition with other associates and the one-day and T20 leagues.
The women’s team are competing in the ICC World Cup Asia qualifiers, though they were beaten on Friday by China and face a tough task to reach the Asia Cup.
Cutler said the burgeoning women’s game may be the key to expand cricket among Hong Kong’s local community.
“The ladies are really the champions of local cricket, with more than half the squad being local Chinese and most are born in Hong Kong,” said Cutler. “And it’s pleasing to see how many Hong Kong girls are taking up the sport.
“Women’s cricket could be the key and their performances can show how far Hong Kong cricket has come.
“This isn’t just a rebrand,” he added. “It’s not just a paint job on the outside or moving the deck chairs. It is intrinsically linked to a strategic direction of where we want to take Hong Kong through cricket.
“It’s about doing as much as we can for Hong Kong through cricket. That’s how cricket can benefit the community.”