World Cup countdown: Siegfried Wai and Jason Lui among 54 players in mix for Hong Kong squad
Shahid Wasif is given a full-time contract while three Chinese players are vying to play against Nepal and Papua New Guinea
Youngster Shahid Wasif has earned himself a full-time contract with Cricket Hong Kong while two more Chinese players are in the mix in the quest to reach the ICC World Cup qualifiers.
The 20-year-old Diasqua Little Sai Wan player has been with the senior team for a year and selectors are impressed enough to give him one of 16 full-time contracts among 54 players who are vying to make the squad.
Sportsroad Dragons players Siegfried Wai and Jason Lui are called up for the Hong Kong A squad, joining national squad member Li Kai-ming as the three Chinese players competing for places.
“As a group of selectors we believe these 54 players are the best players in Hong Kong and are the next in line for the immediate future,” coach Simon Cook said.
“There are three under-16s in there who might be more long term and there are others that could come into consideration but we are confident in this group.
“The national squad will train up to 30 hours a week and the A squad will generally train around eight hours a week, which includes Conditioning and technical sessions.”
Hong Kong play Nepal in October and Papua New Guinea next year and must win in order to finish in the top four of the eight-team World Cricket League and advance to the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup. Hong Kong are third.
The contract players include Mark Chapman, who plays first-class cricket in New Zealand and Anshuman Rath, who is with Middlesex in England.
Selected for the national squad are former Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson and Hong Kong-born Kyle Christie, who is based in Perth, Australia.
Cook said he had high hopes for the likes of Wai and Lui.
“The continued progression of the Dragons team has meant that this year we are able to select Jason Lui and Sigfried Wai into the programme on merit,” Cook said.
“We hope that these two players will progress in the same way as Ming [Li Kai-ming] has done, this is quantified by looking at Ming’s Sunday league bowling performances this year which have been outstanding and highlights why he deserves his national squad position.
“Both have proved that they have the potential going forward and have much more to come.
“With the profile of Hong Kong Cricket at an all-time high the pool of players that the selectors can choose from is not just national anymore but global.
“This means that players now have to work really hard to get into any Hong Kong representative squad and work even harder to stay there. This has been highlighted with seven players being removed from our national squads as new players pass them by and are given the chance to excel.”
Cricket Hong Kong contracted players
Tanwir Afzal (PACC), Nadeem Ahmed (DLSWCC), Tanveer Ahmed (KCC), Chris Carter (KCC), Babar Hayat (DLSWCC), Adil Mehmood (KCC), Waqas Khan (DLSWCC), Nizakat Khan (HKCC), Aizaz Khan (KCC), Ehsan Nawaz (KCC), Mark Chapman (HKCC and Auckland), Kinchit Shah (KCC), Giacomo Lamplough (HKCC), Anshuman Rath (HKCC), Ehsan Khan (DLSWCC), Shahid Wasif (DLSWCC)
Jamie Atkinson (KCC), Waqas Barkat (KCC), Ninad Shah (KCC), Li Kai-ming (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Awais (USRC), Mohammad Umar (USRC), Matt Stiller (KCC), Raag Kapur (HKCC), Cameron McAulsen (HKCC), Jhathavedh Subramanyan (HKCC), Kabir Sodhi (HKCC), Kyle Christie (Perth), Haroon Arshad Mohammad (DLSWCC)
Hong Kong A squad
Kalhan Challu (KCC), Sunny Bhimsaria (KCC), Adit Gorawara (KCC), Akbar Khan (SLCC), Mohammad Osama (DLSWCC), Harprett Singh (DLSWCC), Devang Bulsara (KCC), Wajid Shah (Kent), Siegfried Wai (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Saad (Vagabonds), Jason Lui (CHK Dragons), Mohammad Huzafah (Vagabonds), Hameed Khan (PACC), Vishal Sharma (KCC), Karandeep Singh (DLSWCC), Simandeep Singh (KCC), Hassan Khan (PACC), Sikandar Zafar (USRC), She Yar Saeed (DLSWCC), Qasim Khan (PACC), Angus Robson (HKCC), Tej Sheopuri (HKCC), Suhaib Ahmed (KCC), Imran Arif (KCC), Ashley Caddy (KCC)