Hong Kong confirmed to host first ever One Day Internationals as Scotland to tour in January 2016.
The Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) today announced that it will host Scotland’s men’s national team here in January 2016. The tour will feature the first ever One Day Internationals (ODIs) held on Hong Kong – or Chinese – soil.
The announcement was made after the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground (known as Mission Road) as an ODI venue, the first in East Asia. The ICC had sent two representatives a fortnight ago – including former Australian Test Cricketer and now ICC Match Referee David Boon – to inspect the LCSD-run facility, which will also host the city’s inaugural First Class and Twenty20 International (T20I) matches during the same tour.
HKCA CEO Tim Cutler commented on how important the approval is and also discussed other possible future international cricket events in Hong Kong. “The approval of Mission Road is a historic event for Hong Kong cricket and I would like to thank the HKCA staff and volunteers who worked on this project. Moreover, the assistance from the LCSD was amazing and this would not have been possible without their help, especially from Ms Ada Lau who oversee the ground’s management and Mr Cameron Hodgkins who heads up the Sports Turf Management Section”.
“It is fitting that the first nation to play ODI cricket against us here is Scotland. The Scots have long proud history in Hong Kong and we have already initiated discussions with various local Scottish community groups to ensure these matches are properly publicised and celebrated. We have some great ideas about how to make this a great event – a true festival of cricket – and we look forward to announcing more details soon.”
“I also think that the matches will actually be the highest (by world ranking) sporting event involving a Hong Kong team, ever hosted here. On the topic of grounds, we are continuing our discussions with the government and its appointed agents about accommodating cricket appropriately at the proposed Kai Tak Multi-Purpose Sports Complex. There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia whilst assisting the HKCA as it strives to be a leader for emerging cricket nations globally. There are numerous international cricket events that we could host in Hong Kong, with the right facilities.”
“With talk of cricket’s inclusion at the Olympics increasing, I think it is critical we do not overlook the opportunity to provide a world-class facility where we could also host women’s and under-age World Cup events. Twenty20 matches (or franchises) from the hugely successful Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash Leagues are also an option. We could even provide a neutral test venue. All of these would generate immense global interest and the potential TV revenue alone makes this a very exciting prospect, along with the obvious exposure for Hong Kong itself.”
Cutler continued “Even in preliminary talks, the ICC is very excited about the prospect of Hong Kong being able to host such matches and we’ll ensure a direct line of communication is developed so that they can shed light on the potential with the government.”
Scotland’s tour in January will include the first class, four-day Intercontinental Cup match, two World Cricket League games which will hold full-ODI status and two Twenty20 Internationals. The two T20i ties are to be confirmed.
Hong Kong is currently 10th in the T20I rankings, and 16th in ODIs. Scotland are 12th and 14th in the respective tables.
After recent strong results in the UAE, Hong Kong could improve its ranking to 13th with wins over Scotland.
Proposed Tour Itinerary – Hong Kong v. Scotland
(All Matches at Mission Road, Tin Kwong Road, Kowloon District):
21 – 24 January: ICC Intercontinental Cup (Four-day, first class match)
26 & 28 January: ICC World Cricket League Championship (Fifty over, One Day Internationals)
30 & 31 January: Twenty20 Internationals