History of Cricket in Hong Kong

History of Cricket in Hong Kong

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42), and it was around this time that the first recorded cricket match was played in the colony; in 1841. Ten years later, the Hong Kong Cricket Club was formed, while in 1866, Interport matches were established against Shanghai. In 1890, a further series of matches were started, against The Straights, and Ceylon. Two years after this, the Hong Kong cricket team was returning from one such match against Shanghai, when the ship they were travelling on, the SS Bokhara, was caught in a typhoon, and sank. All but two members of the cricket team, along with 114 others, drowned.

An organised domestic cricket league was first established in the 1903–04 season, and was won during its inaugural year by the Army Ordnance Corps. In 1966, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) visited Hong Kong for the first time, on their return from a tour of Australia and New Zealand. The Hong Kong Cricket Association was granted associate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1969, and a few years later, the domestic structure was altered, with the First and Second Division being replaced with Sunday and Saturday Leagues, respectively.

In 1982, the Hong Kong national cricket team made they first appearance in the ICC Trophy, and finished fifth in their group of eight, recording two wins, against Israel, and Gibraltar. Interport matches continued until 1987, until the final one was played, against Singapore. In 1992, the first Hong Kong Cricket Sixes tournament was contested, and was won by Pakistan.

By finishing as runners-up in the 2000 ACC Trophy, Hong Kong qualified for the 2004 Asia Cup. At the 2004 competition, Hong Kong played their first One Day International (ODI) matches, suffering losses to Bangladesh and Pakistan. After finishing as runners-up in the 2006 ACC Trophy, Hong Kong once again qualified for the Asia Cup, where in the 2008 tournament, losing to Pakistan and India.

Hong Kong’s finest moment to date on the international stage came in 2014, with a win over ICC World T20 hosts Bangladesh in Chittagong. Since then Hong Kong have gone on to qualify for the ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC World Cricket League Championships and have ODI status until at least the 2019 ICC World Cup.

During that period Hong Kong have notched their first One Day International and First Class victories and have reached as high as 10th in the world in T20 Internationals.

Cricket is now one of the fastest growing sports in Hong Kong. The game is spreading beyond the Sub Continent or English origin population and many Chinese are also taking up the sport. In a few years it is expected to make some good strides.

1841 - 1899

  • First recorded game of cricket played in Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong Cricket Club founded.
  • First Interport match between Hong Kong and Shanghai.
  • First recorded match by Diocesan Boys School.
  • First Interport match v The Straights.
  • First match v Ceylon.
  • On 10th October, the P&O steamship SS Bokhara, carrying the Hong Kong cricket team back from an Interport against Shanghai, sinks in a typhoon with the loss of 125 lives. Only two members of the 13-man Hong Kong cricket team survive the disaster.
  • Craigengower Cricket Club founded.
  • Hong Kong Parsee Cricket Club founded.

1900 - 1949

  • Civil Service Cricket Club founded. 
  • Police Recreation Club founded.
  • First Division League Cricket commenced.
  • Kowloon Cricket Club founded.
  • Club de Recreio founded.
  • Chinese Recreation Club founded.
  • The University of Hong Kong founded.
  • Matches suspended due to World War I.
  • Indian Recreation Club founded.
  • Second Division League Cricket commenced. 
  • First recorded match by King George the Fifth School (KGV, then known as Central British School).
  • Matches suspended due to World War II.
  • Last recorded Interport match v Shanghai

1951 - 1999

  • 100th Anniversary of Hong Kong Cricket Club.
  • Jack Chegwyn's team become the first International team to visit Hong Kong.
  • Craigengower Sixes commenced.
  • St George's Cricket Club founded.
  • Little Sai Wan Cricket Club founded.
  • First MCC team to visit Hong Kong.
  • Gillette Cup competition introduced.
  • Hong Kong Cricket Association replaces the Hong Kong Cricket League.
  • First recorded match by Island School.
  • HKCA becomes Associate Member of the International Cricket Council.
  • Rothmans Cup competition introduced.
  • Sunday and Saturday Leagues replace First and Second Divisions.
  • Last matches played at HKCC ground at Chater Road.
  • Saturday and Sunday Cup and Plate competitions introduced.
  • Limited overs introduced for Saturday League.
  • Ted Wilson Schools Trophy introduced.
  • Hong Kong plays in the ICC Trophy for the first time.
  • Asian Cricket Council established.
  • Last Interport v Singapore.
  • County champions, Worcestershire CCC, featuring Ian Botham and Graeme Hick, visited Hong Kong to play exhibition matches against HKCA Invitational teams. Overseas players invited to play included Clive Rice and Graeme Pollock.
  • Volvo Cup commences between Hong Kong and Thailand.
  • Malaysia joins the Volvo Cup and the Tuanku Ja'afar Cup begins between Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Hong Kong-born Dermot Reeve selected to play for England.
  • First Cathay Pacific/Wharf Holdings International Sixes at KCC.
  • 100th Anniversary of Craigengower Cricket Club.
  • Hong Kong finishes 8th in ICC Trophy.
  • HKCA employ first full-time coaching staff.
  • Hong Kong Dragons (all Chinese) team undertake first tour to Taiwan and to Beijing Sixes
  • HKCA employ first full-time administrative/development staff.
  • HKCA Development programme commences.
  • Hong Kong wins both Senior and Under-18 Tuanku Ja'afar Cup competitions.
  • Summer Eight-a-side competition commences.
  • First overseas scholarships awarded to promising Hong Kong players.
  • Hong Kong plays in the first Asian Cricket Council Trophy competition.
  • Cathay Pacific/Wheelock Natwest International Sixes moves to Hong Kong Stadium.
  • Hong Kong hosts first One Day international match between Australia and The Rest of the World at KCC.
  • Hong Kong finishes 8th in ICC Trophy.
  • Hong Kong team wins Bowl at International Sixes after victories over India and South Africa.
  • Handover of Sovereignty of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China.
  • Hong Kong hosts the Asian Cricket Council Under-19 tournament (Youth Asia Cup) and finishes third.
  • Hong Kong make it to the ACC Trophy semi-finals in Nepal.
  • HKCA Junior Leagues at Under-13, Under-15 and Under-19 levels start.
  • Hong Kong retains the Under-19 Tuanku Ja'afar Cup for the third year running.
  • Hong Kong hosts Sri Lankan Schools Cricket Association Under-17 tour.
  • Hong Kong wins the Senior Tuanku Ja'afar Cup.
  • Hong Kong retains the Under-19 Tuanku Ja'afar Cup.

2000 - Present

  • HKCA Under-11 Junior League commences.
  • Primary School Playground League commences.
  • Hong Kong qualifies for the 2002 Asia Cup after finishing runners-up at the ACC Trophy tournament played in Sharjah. Rahul Sharma is named player of the tournament.
  • The Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes returns to the Kowloon Cricket Club.
  • The 2001 Cathay Pacific/Standard Chartered Hong Kong Cricket Sixes website attracts over 1 million visitors .
  • Hong Kong hosts the ACC Curatorship Seminar.
  • Teams from the Marylebone Cricket Club and Melbourne Cricket Club join in a festival of cricket to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Cricket Club.
  • HKCA opens new ground at Po Kong Village Road.
  • Hong Kong wins Under-13 Tuanku Ja'afar Cup 2002 played in Singapore.
  • HHong Kong hosts the senior Tuanku Ja'afar Cup 2002 and retains the Cup again.
  • The 2002 Cathay Pacific/Standard Chartered Hong Kong Cricket Sixes website broadcasts matches in live streaming video over the internet.
  • HKCA celebrates 100 years of league cricket in Hong Kong (2003-04 season).
  • Hong Kong retains the Tuanku Ja'afar Cup with a dominant display in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Second wicket is developed at Po Kong Village Road ground with aid from the ACC and ICC.
  • ong Kong juniors Jamie Atkinson, John Bacon and Robbie Bacon are selected to tour Sri Lanka with an ACC Development XI.
  • HKCA Secretary, John Cribbin, is appointed to ACC Executive Board and the ICC Cricket Committee - Management..
  • The Kowloon Cricket Club marks its 100th anniverary. They kick off their celebrations by winning the 2003-04 Sunday League (Templars) and Sunday Cup (Hornets) double.
  • Hong Kong performs well at the the inaurgural Under-17 Asia Cup played in India. Despite impressive victories over Bhutan and the Maldives, they fail to progress to the main competition. Hong Kong batsman Daniel Fulgrabe has an excellent tournament and is rewarded with selection in the ACC Under 17 team to tour India during February 2004.
  • Hong Kong gets its first taste of ODI cricket when they face Pakistan and Bangladesh at the 2004 Asia Cup played in Sri Lanka.
  • The first Hong Kong Women's cricket team makes a tour to Shanghai .
  • Hussain Butt smashes an incredible 311* in a Saturday League fixture played at HKCC. Butt's 'assault' hits the international headlines as following matches to be played on the same ground involving the same player are postponed for "public saftety" reasons.
  • Hong Kong players Irfan Ahmad and James Atkinson make Select Asia Under-15 Squad.
  • Twenty20 cricket is played for the first time in Hong Kong with teams from KCC, HKCC and the Independent Clubs playing a series of exhibition matches.
  • Hong Kong reaches the final of the ACC Trophy 2006 played in Malaysia and in so doing qualifies for the 2008 Asia Cup and a qualifiying tournament for the 2010 World Cup.
  • The Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team plays a three match series against the Pakistan Women's Cricket Team in Lahore for a place in the 2009 Women's World Cup.
  • The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) makes a short tour to Hong Kong, playing matches against the Hong Kong Cricket Club and HKCA President's XI as well as Twenty20 match against a HKCA XI.
  • The 2006 Cathay Pacific / Standard Chartered Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes returns to a nine team format.
  • Hong Kong Cricket team wins Hong Kong Sports Stars Award for 2006
  • The Hong Kong team travels to Darwin, Australia, to play in the ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament, a qualifying tournament for the 2010 World Cup. They score victories over Italy and Tanzania to finish 5th in the 8 team competition and are demoted to Division 4
  • The Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team travels to Shenzhen on 24th June 2007 to play the China Women's Cricket Team in the first international cricket match between the two countries. A return match is played at the Kowloon Cricket Club on 4th July 2007.
  • The Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team participates in the inaugural ACC Women's Cricket Tournament, played in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, where they reach the semi-final stage of the competition.
  • The Hong Kong senior men's team travels to Kuwait to contest the inaugural ACC Twenty20 Cup. They play two warm-up matches in Sharjah en-route to Kuwait. In the tournament proper, Hong Kong beat Saudi Arabia but suffer losses to Singapore, UAE and Kuwait and fail to reach the semi-final stage of the tournament.
  • An All Stars team is added to the 2007 Cathay Pacific / Standard Chartered Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes tournament with Brian Lara, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble appearing. The All Stars reach the final but are beaten by Sri Lanka, who win their first title. Pakistan and New Zealand are the other semi-finalists.
  • Hong Kong plays in the Asia Cup 2008, an event it qualified for in 2006, where they play matches against hosts Pakistan and India. As part of their preparation, Hong Kong team makes a pre-tournament tour to Pakistan.
  • Hong Kong wins its first major tournament when they beat UAE in the final of the ten team ACC Trophy Elite 2008 tournament, played in Malaysia. As winners, they qualify for the 2010 Asia Cup.
  • Hong Kong then travels to Tanzania to contest the ICC World Cricket League Division Four tournament. They perform brilliantly at the six team tournament and reach the final but are beaten by Afghanistan. As finalist, they gain promotion to Division Three.
  • The Japan Women's Cricket Team becomes the first Women's international team to play in Hong Kong. They play three matches against the Hong Kong Women's Cricket Team but Hong Kong wins the series 3-0.
  • Hong Kong headed to Buenos Aires to contest the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament against Afghanistan, Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and hosts Argentina. A top two finish in the tournament would buy them a ticket to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifying tournament in South Africa 2009. In a close fought competition, Hong Kong came away with a two-win three-loss record that saw them finish fourth.
  • Hong Kong claims its second international title in a year when it wins the ten-team ACC Under-19 Elite Cup tournament played in Kuwait. Hong Kong played strongly to beat teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Qatar and Afghanistan. By making it to the final, Hong Kong qualified for the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifying tournament, played in Toronto, Canada during September 2009, to determine places at the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
  • The Hong Kong Women's cricket team claimed their first international trophy when they won the inaugural ACC Women's Twenty20 Championships, played in Malaysia during July 2009. Hong Kong went through the tournament undefeated.
  • At the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Hong Kong score victories over Uganda and Vanuatu but lose to Ireland, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Canada and Netherlands. Depite a narrow loss to USA in the final match, Hong Kong do just enough to grab the sixth and last qualifying place for the 2010 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be played in New Zealand in January 2010.
  • The Hong Kong Under-19 team travels to New Zealand in January 2010 to play in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2010. Ranked last in the 16 team competition, Hong Kong play well in pre-tournament warm-up games and score victories over Canterbury U17, Canada U19 (ranked 14th) and USA U19 (ranked 15th) but lose to Canterbury U19 and Sri Lanka U19 (ranked 7th). In the tournament itself, Hong Kong suffer losses to England U19 (ranked 5th) , India U19 (ranked 1st) and Afghanistan U19 (ranked 12th) in pool matches played in Christchurch and are relegated to the Plate competition played in Napier. There they lose to Bangladesh U19 (ranked 8th) in the Plate Quarter-final but beat Afghanistan U19 in the Plate Play-off. Hong Kong finish ranked 14th after being beaten by Zimbabwe U19 (ranked 10th) in their final outing.
  • As part of it's preparations for the ACC Trophy Elite 2010, Hong Kong play China in an international friendly. Hong Kong win easily by 179 run
  • Cricket features in the Asian Games for the first time and Hong Kong's men's and women's teams participate in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November 2010. The women's team has a poor tournament and fails to win a match however the men score victories over Nepal and Maldives but are beaten by Bangladesh and Afghanistan and fail to progress to the medal rounds.
  • Hong Kong hosts the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 featuring teams from Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Oman, Papua New Guinea and USA. Hong Kong loses its first two matches of the tournament but wins its last three games to qualify for the final where they beat PNG by 4 wickets. By making it to the final both Hong Kong and PNG gain promotion to ICC WCL Division 2.
  • The Hong Kong women's team travels to Kuwait where they defend their ACC Women's Twenty20 Championship title beating China in a thrilling final.
  • The Hong Kong men's team travels to Dubai to particpate in the ICC WCL Division 2. Seeking a top four finish in the six-team event - also featuring UAE, Namibia, PNG, Uganda and Bermuda - Hong Kong score a crucial victory over Uganda in the opening round. They run eventual finalists UAE and Namibia very close but can't manage another victory. However they secure the prized fourth place finish on run-rate thus qualifying for ICC High Performance Funding for three years. Hong Kong's world ranking rises to 20th.
  • A new look Hong Kong men's team, under the guidance of new captian Jamie Atkinson, travels to Sri Lanka and then on to Nepal to particiapte in the ACC Twenty20 Cup 2011. After losing to hosts Nepal in the opening match, Hong Kong secure victories over Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Oman to secure their place in the tournamement final against Afghanistan, where they lose narrowly by 8 runs. By finishing in the top four, Hong Kong secured a place at the 16-team ICC World T20 Qualifier to be played in UAE during March 2012.
  • Hong Kong travelled to the UAE in March 2012 to contest the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier - a qualifying event for the ICC Tewnty20 World Cup 2012 in Sri Lanka. They scored victories over Bermuda, Denmark, Uganda and USA and they finish 11th in the 16 team event that sees Ireland and Afghanistan progress to the ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2012 in Sri Lanka.
  • The Hong Kong Women's team travels to Thailand in January 2013 to contest the ACC Women's Championship 2013. Hong Kong easily account for UAE, Malaysia and Bhutan but lose to Nepal, China and Thailand to finish fourth.
  • In March, Hong Kong travels to Sri Lanka and then on to Nepal to participate in the ACC Twenty20 Cup 2013. Hong Kong score victories over Malysia, Nepal, Maldives and Singapore to secure a semi-final berth but are then beaten by eventual champions Afgahanistan and UAE to finish fourth. By finishing in the top four, Hong Kong secure a place at the 16-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013.
  • In November, the Hong Kong team travels to UAE to contest the ICC World T20 Qualifier 2013. The team scores impressive victories over Denmark, Italy, Uganda, Canada, Namibia and USA to finish second in their group and secure a place in the play-offs. In the play-offs, they beat PNG to make history and secure a place at the ICC World T20 2014 in Bangladesh. During the tournament, which is won by Ireland, Irfan Ahmed scores an impressive 100 against Canada while Moner Ahmed is the second highest wicket-taker with 17.
  • On 1st December 2013, Ryan Campbell scores 303* off 107 balls for KCC Infidels versus HKCC Optimists in a Sunday Championship match at Kowloon Cricket Club.
  • In January, the Hong Kong team travels to New Zealand to contest the ten-team ICC Cricket World Qualifier 2014. In group matches, Hong Kong beats ODI ranked teams Scotland and Canada and thrashes Nepal by 10 wkts to qualify for the Super Sixes phase of the tournament. A narrow loss by D/L to Kenya in the opening game of the Super Sixes proves costly as despite impressive victories over Namibia and PNG in their remaining Super Sixes matches, Hong Kong cannot improve on their third place and so narrowly miss out on qualifiying for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. However by finishing third, Hong Kong gains ODI status and improves their overall world ranking from 20th to 15th in the 50 over format of the game. Third place secured a spot in World Cricket League Championship and Intercontinental Cup competitions for 2015-17.
  • Hong Kong compete in the ICC World T20, where in their final pool game they defeat tournament hosts Bangladesh. Hong Kong’s first win over a full member nation.
  • Hong Kong compete in the Asian Games in Incheon, defeating Malaysia in the Quarter-Finals before losing to Afghanistan in the semi-finals and Bronze Medal playoff games.
  • Hong Kong play its first ever First Class match as part of the Intercontinental Cup against Namibia. After losing that match, Hong Kong win their first First Class match against the UAE in November 2015. Babar Hayat becomes the first batsman to score a first class century for Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong secure a first One Day International victory against UAE as part of the same Tour. In that match, Mark Chapman becomes the first batsman to score a century in a One Day International match for Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong qualify for a second ICC World T20, by finishing equal third in the qualifiers, which was sealed by a thrilling last-ball win against Afghanistan.
  • Hong Kong host First Class and One Day International matches for the first time, defeating Scotland in the ODI to claim the Braidwood Cup series in a tour affected by unseasonably poor weather.
  • Hong Kong compete in the Asia Cup but fail to progress from the qualifier stage. The highlight comes from Babar Hayat, who smashes 122 off 63 balls in Hong Kong’s loss to Oman that is the first century hit by a Hong Kong batsman in T20 International Cricket.
  • Hong Kong compete in their second ICC World T20, but lose all three group games against Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Scotland.
  • Hong Kong host an ICC women’s tournament for the first time. Thailand progress from the ICC Women’s CWC Qualifiers Asia, with Hong Kong finishing third above China and behind Nepal.