Australian Tim Cutler appointed first-ever Hong Kong Cricket Association CEO
The Aussie is tasked with raising the profile of the sport in Hong Kong and developing closer ties with the ICC
Australian Tim Cutler has been appointed as Hong Kong Cricket's first chief executive, tasked with making Hong Kong a shining light among the associates and building bridges with the government as well as the International Cricket Council.
"It is an honour to be the first CEO of the HKCA. The recent success of the men's team is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what a thriving local cricket community in Hong Kong can achieve," said Cutler, who has been resident in Hong Kong working in the insurance sector.
Cutler will take up his position next month after being chosen from a global search, which attracted 120 applicants.
He has also played the game at a high standard in Sydney and Britain.
The Hong Kong Cricket Association has taken a leaf out of the book of leading associate member Ireland, and appointed a full-time chief executive to oversee all aspects of the game from the grass roots to the national level where the men's senior team are at an all-time high, being ranked 15th in the world and having attained one-day international status last year.
"Strong professional leadership at CEO level has delivered great results in associate cricket around the world and it is important to do likewise to ensure we play a leading role as the sport is developed in Hong Kong, China and across East Asia," said John Cribbin, HKCA secretary and a member of the ICC chief executives committee, who was part of the selection process.
HKCA chairman Mike Walsh said: "Tim's appointment is a major step forward for cricket in Hong Kong. His commercial acumen and understanding of the game both internationally and in Hong Kong can help us take cricket to the next level together with the strong and continuing support of our government."
Pakistan sponsorship boost for Hong Kong players
Hong Kong fast bowler Tanwir Afzal became the first national squad player to be sponsored by the corporate community when he received HK$25,000 for the next year from the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce.
"We wanted to support cricket and I hope this will start a trend where more companies will back our cricketers," said Javed Iqbal, president of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and chief executive of JKN International, a sponsor of Premiership team Little Sai Wan.
Afzal, the leading wicket-taker this season with around 60 scalps, said he was grateful for every bit of help. "I hope more of my teammates will also get backing. This recognition will motivate me to do even better for Hong Kong," said the 27-year-old quick.
Afzal and seven other national squad players are also contracted to the Hong Kong Cricket Association. Rodney Miles, HKCA president, said: "We really appreciate this support from the community. Our side is the highest-ranked [15th] team sport in Hong Kong and we are determined to become more professional and all this backing helps."
Though the amount was small, HKCA executive committee member Jawad Ashraf hoped "it will encourage more corporate support from the community".