Friday, November 28, 2008

In the International Spotlight...Hong Kong Cricket


The Hong Kong cricket team is a team representing the Chinese Special administrative region of Hong Kong in international cricket. They played their first match in 1866 and have been an associate member of the International Cricket Council since 1969.

They played their first One Day Internationals in the 2004 Asia Cup and have played in every ICC Trophy since the 1982 tournament with the exception of the most recent event. They played in the ICC Intercontinental Cup in the 2005 tournament, and are currently ranked at 25th in the World by the ICC and are the third highest ranked Asian non-Test nation.

The sport was introduced to Hong Kong by the English, with the first recorded game taking place in 1841, and the Hong Kong Cricket Club being founded ten years later. The Cricket Club played a number of interport matches against sides on the Chinese mainland, the first taking place against Shanghai in 1866, and in 1890 played Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for the first time.

1892 saw disaster when the SS Bokhara, which was carrying the team back from Shanghai, sank in a typhoon with the loss of 125 lives. There were only 23 survivors, which included only 2 of the 13 team members. The other 11 members of the team were lost.

1948 saw the last game against Shanghai. After the communist take-over in 1949, no more games were possible in China. Jack Chegwyn led the first international team to Hong Kong in 1952, and the first tour by an MCC team was in 1966. The MCC, captained by Mike Smith played one match against the national side, winning by 74 runs. In 1969 the Hong Kong Cricket Association became an associate member of the International Cricket Council, cricket's global ruling body.

The year after gaining ICC membership, the Hong Kong national side played against an MCC side captained by Tony Lewis, drawing the game, but it was not until the 1982 ICC Trophy when the Hong Kong team next played. At that tournament the Hong Kong team, which featured future England Test cricketer Dermot Reeve, failed to progress beyond the first round.

Hong Kong took part in the following three ICC Trophy tournaments, again failing to progress beyond the first round in 1986, reaching the plate competition in 1990 and the second round in 1994. They then played in the first ACC Trophy in 1996, failing to progress beyond the first round after finishing third to Bangladesh and Fiji.

In 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese control and the year also saw Hong Kong record their best finish in the ICC Trophy, finishing in eighth place. They played in the ACC Trophy again in 1998, losing to Malaysia in the semi-finals.

In 2000, Hong Kong reached the final of the ACC Trophy, qualifying for the 2002 Asia Cup, which was subsequently moved to 2004. They failed to progress beyond the first round of the 2001 ICC Trophy and lost to the UAE in the semi-finals of the ACC Trophy the following year. Their first taste of One-Day International cricket came in the 2004 Asia Cup, where they lost both first round matches to Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Also in 2004, Hong Kong failed to progress beyond the first round of the ACC Trophy after losing in the group stages to Oman and Bahrain, missing out on qualification for the 2005 ICC Trophy in Ireland. They also reached the final of the Fast-track nations tournament, losing to the UAE. Hong Kong played in the Intercontinental Cup for the first time in 2005. They lost to the UAE and drew with Nepal, failing to reach the semi-finals. They finished last in the fast-track nations tournament the same year.

In 2006, Hong Kong again lost to the UAE in the final of the ACC Trophy, and finished fourth in the ACC Premier League. The following year, they travelled to Darwin, Australia to take part in Division Three of the World Cricket League, finishing fifth, relegating them to Division Four for 2008.

In October/November 2007, Hong Kong took part in the inaugural ACC Twenty20 Cup held in Kuwait, where they played in Group B against the UAE, Singapore, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Hong Kong finished 4th in their group and failed to make to the semi-finals stage.

Other links relating to Hong Kong cricket are:

  • List of Hong Kong ODI cricketers
  • Hong Kong national cricket captains
  • Hong Kong Cricket Association
  • Hong Kong women's cricket team
  • Hong Kong Cricket Sixes
  • Independant Cricket Club Association of Hong Kong"


    *Acknowledgements to and owners of pictures and videos used.

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