The Hong Kong Cricket Association has appointed Charles Burke as their new national coach. Mr. Burke, currently ICC East Asia-Pacific Development Manager, will start work in Hong Kong in May on a two-year contract with a brief to oversee cricket development for the national team and age-groups for both men and women. Speaking to the ACC from Jakarta, where he is conducting a Level I coaching course, Hong Kong's new coach said, "Initially I'd like to create an elite player pathway for the U-16s and U-19s to come into the national team and help develop a good structure and good competitions for the players and coaches."

HKCA General manager Danny Lai says that in contrast to former coaches in Hong Kong who have “focussed mostly on the national team, Charlie is going to spend a lot more time on player development from the base up. It may mean that Hong Kong take one step back to go two steps forward but in the medium to long-term that is what we need here. He was selected by the newly established HKCA Coaching Committee out of 28 strong applicants including former Test captains."

Hong Kong have had some success in recent years, ACC Trophy Elite winners in 2008, ACC U-19 Elite winners in 2009 as well as ACC Women’s Twenty20 Cup winners in the same year along with sound performances in the ICC World Cricket League and participation in the ICC U-19 World Cup. In their defence of the ACC Trophy this year Hong Kong finished third. “I’ve seen them play a fair bit recently, and at this stage it’s just going to be a matter of getting the ones in the team to play more effectively, there’s a fair amount of talent there but at Associate level you really don’t play too many matches and the job at Hong Kong’s about much more than the national men’s and women’s teams,” says Mr. Burke.

Arjun Menon who coached Singapore to victory in the 2010 ACC U-16 Elite in Nepal, worked with Mr. Burke in Western Australia some years ago. “Charlie was a very young Senior Game Development Manager then, having come up through the ranks from Community Cricket Officer and what was very clear was that he always had very good ideas for player development and coach education at the WACA (Western Australia Cricket Association). He played a decent level of WACA grade cricket and he’s not going to have any difficulty in relating to the players wherever he is.”

Pictures courtesy HKCA

Hong Kong Cricket Profile

Filed April 20th, 2010