Is Hong Kong Cricket Fielding Its Best XI?

January 12, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Carnegie's Sri Lankans Cricket Club of Hong Kong after thrashing JKN Little Sai Wan and Pakistan Association on Jan 1. (Courtesy of  Carnegie's Sri Lankans Cricket Club)
Carnegie's Sri Lankans Cricket Club of Hong Kong after thrashing JKN Little Sai Wan and Pakistan Association on Jan 1. (Courtesy of Carnegie's Sri Lankans Cricket Club)
Hong Kong’s national cricket team are in preparation for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament that begins January 22-29 in Hong Kong.

Freshly returned from a short tour to Colombo, Sri Lanka, the 14-man squad played three matches with little to get excited about, having lost two.

Followers of Hong Kong Cricket Association’s strongest competitive clubs in the Sunday League have questioned if the national team is the strongest XI that they can field. They have also pointed at what could be seen as a disparity or favouritism towards two particular cricket clubs.

A quick study of the HKCA Official Player Points Table Sunday League, which ranks players based on most aspects of the game, provides a good indication of a player’s form. Supporting the suggestion that Hong Kong has unplumbed depths waiting for representation honours, only two players ranked in the Top 20 are in the national squad. Going further down the list, it shows that eight in the squad are among the Top 50.

One argument could be that some players haven’t played as many matches as others in the Sunday League due to fixturing difficulties. And that to draw conclusions based on that assessment is problematic. Nevertheless, with five of the squad ranked 75 or lower—with one well beyond the Top 100—it’s fair to consider that there are players in better form to choose from.

It’s notable that the Sunday League’s fifth ranked team, Little Sai Wan Cricket Club, has six players in the current national squad, but no surprise that league leaders Pakistan Association has five.

It’s understood that selection may be based on a wide range of criteria, while player development, eligibility and availability may answer some of the reasons, how much head-coach Charlie Burke’s hands are tied by the selectors and administrators may answer some of the others.

On paper, it would seem that selectors could do better.

HKCA Champion Player Points table to 10th Jan, 2011

(Players in orange form Hong Kong’s national cricket team.)

Rank

Name

Club

Matches

Points

1

Hayat, Babar

Vagabonds CC

7

110.3

2

Wooden, Peter M

Kowloon Cricket Club

6

83

3

Ahmed, Moner D

Little Sai Wan CC

5

69.3

4

Hamman, Rowan

Hong Kong Cricket Club

7

64.1

5

Ahmed, Imran

Pakistan Association

6

61.3

6

Hameed, Nasir

Millennium CC

6

60.8

7

Peterson, James C

Hong Kong Cricket Club

3

59.3

8

Dearing, Dylan B

Kowloon Cricket Club

3

53.8

9

Butt, Khalid H

Pakistan Association

6

51

10

Muchall, P

Hong Kong Cricket Club

4

49.9

11

Amjad, Haseeb

Little Sai Wan CC

5

49.3

12

Wijekoon, Nilantha

Vagabonds CC

7

48.2

13

Khan, Jangzeb

Millennium CC

6

47.5

14

Khan, Amanat

Little Sai Wan CC

7

42.3

15

Khan, Nizakat

Little Sai Wan CC

5

39.8

16

Khan, Mahroof

Kowloon Cricket Club

4

37.8

17

Hearle, Philip K

Hong Kong Cricket Club

7

36.7

18

Deshpande, Pavan

Sri Lankan’s Cricket Club

2

36.5

19

Tucker, Maxwell C

Hong Kong Cricket Club

7

33.9

20

Joshi, Anirudh A

Sri Lankan’s Cricket Club

2

32.8

31

Lamsam, Roy

Kowloon Cricket Club

3

25

32

Amar, Najeeb

Pakistan Association

4

24.9

41

Chapman, Mark S

Hong Kong Cricket Club

2

21

42

Khan, Mohammad Aizaz

Pakistan Association

5

20.5

48

Kruger, Courtney K

Hong Kong Cricket Club

6

19

50

Dawood, Waqar

Kowloon Cricket Club

6

18

69

Mehmood, Adil

Pakistan Association

5

14.2

75

Ahmed, Nadeem

Little Sai Wan CC

5

13

78

Ahmed, Irfan

Little Sai Wan CC

3

11.8

79

Dar, Tabarak

Little Sai Wan CC

3

11.7

98

Barkat, Waqas

Pakistan Association

4

8.3

128

Khan, Asif

Little Sai Wan CC

5

4.5