Recently Hong Kong’s cricketers have enjoyed considerable success under the guidance of former coach Aftab Habib. Following his rather abrupt resignation in October 2009 after the breakdown of contract renewal talks, the Hong Kong Cricket Association have been looking for a long-term successor to replace the former England international as national coach. Former national fast bowler Afzaal Haider has been interim coach since the departure of Aftab Habib.

The Hong Kong team chair their coach Aftab Habib after the 2008 ACC Trophy Elite win

U-19 Elite Cup winners

2008 and 2009 were successful years for Hong Kong Cricket under Aftab Habib, following his appointment as national coach in October 2007. He managed Hong Kong’s victory in the 2008 ACC Trophy Elite, putting a halt to UAE’s eight-year hold on the tournament. Hong Kong also won the 2009 ACC U-19 Elite Cup in Kuwait during this period and got through the ICC Qualifier which took the team to the 2010 ICC U/19 World Cup in New Zealand, while Hong Kong's women won the inaugural ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship. A strong performance in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League took Hong Kong to Division 3. “Whether it’s the players or coach who does all this it’s never quite possible to say but what’s true is that in these two years Hong Kong were winning like never before and it’s something that Hong Kong wants to continue,” says ACC Development Officer for Hong Kong Rumesh Ratnayake.

Winners of the ACC Women's Twenty20 Championship

Hong Kong Cricket’s Coaching Committee has received 36 applications for the national coach vacancy from candidates all across the the world after the position was advertised on the HKCA and ACC websites as well as Cricinfo.

Of the applications received, the Coaching Committee will now shortlist five candidates for consideration by the HKCA Executive Committee. Candidates, amongst whom are a number of former international captains and players, will be interview either in person or by video-conference. “Ideally we would like to have the new coach join us by March. We are putting development of the game as our first priority as well the performances of our national teams. We will definitely provide our full support to whichever candidate occupies the seat as national coach,” says HKCA General Manager Danny Lai.

A new generation of Hong Kong cricketers

HKCA Honorary Secretary John Cribbin says, “We are hoping to fix an appointment as early as we can. What we are looking for is someone to oversee the entire coaching structure as well as development as a whole. The successful candidate will have a good track record as well as a plan to take Hong Kong Cricket forward.”

Hong Kong Cricket Profile

Filed Jan 25, 2010