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Domestic leagues revamped

23 August 2016

Hong Kong’s domestic leagues have been revamped in a move designed to provide more quality cricket for players aspiring for national selection.

The 35-over a side Saturday competition has been renamed to the Championship League, while the 50-overs a side Sunday competition has been renamed to Elite League.

The changes are not just cosmetic with the new Elite League split into two divisions, the first made up of six teams and the second with seven teams in a move designed to ensure more competitive matches for the top teams.

“After the success of splitting the Championship league into two divisions it was a no brainer to adopt a similar change in the Elite league to ensure we have more meaningful games across all level and formats,” said Director of Cricket Charlie Burke.

“We have seen more juniors playing in senior leagues in the last few years as a result and it has also encouraged the stalwarts or the older generations to find a place they enjoy playing as well as finding it competitive.”

“The support from the clubs on making these changes have been fantastic and as a result we will see a even more competitive competition in both the Championship and Elite leagues in 2016-17.”

The Premier League has also been moved under the National Performance program meaning it’s funded by HKCA.

The Premier League Independents team which was a conglomerate of the smaller Hong Kong clubs will now be funded, managed, selected and coached by HKCA.

“As an ODI nation it is vital to have a clear pathway and an opportunity for those aspiring cricketers to have a platform that will get noticed. Having the Premier League comprising of the best 55 players in Hong Kong on a regular basis is critical for the performance of our National team,” added Burke.

“We have 15 contracted players now and these players need an opportunity to be challenged at a domestic level and the selectors need a platform from where to offer contracts. Strong performances will be rewarded with selection in the National squad as we continue to prepare and work towards the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.”

“An encouraging sign has been the amount of players that have now gone from Premier League Cricket into the National squad in the last two seasons. The cricket community will see a bigger, better competition along with the clubs now ensuring a dedicated program for their elite players. We are also looking to schedule a fixture between last season’s Premier League Team of the Year and the National Squad.”

The Hong Kong Domestic Leagues have formed a partnership with a new Cricket administration system, CricHQ, meaning all games now have the option of live scores, further enhancing the Cricket experience for fans and supporters a like.

The season kicks off on September 3 with Pakistan Association and USRC battling it out in the Women’s T20 competition followed by the KCC Tartars vs CCC Jing Sun at Mission Road and DLSWCC Spartans vs Centaurs CC at PKVR Park in the Championship League.