15 February 2019
Cricket Hong Kong has welcomed the support of international recruitment experts, PageGroup, for the Hong Kong Women’s T20 team’s appearance in the ICC Women’s Asia Qualifier in Bangkok, Thailand (16-27 Feb.).
L to R-Senior Player and PageGroup Sr Consultant Jasmine Titmuss, Mr Andy Bentote, Regional MD Greater China, Page Group, CHK CEO Justin Pearce and HK W captain Mariko Hill celebrate CNY cricket-style
Cricket Hong Kong and PageGroup celebrated the firm’s first Hong Kong sporting team sponsorship at its headquarters in Central today with an announcement ceremony featuring national team coach Richard Waite, squad captain Mariko Hill, vice captain Kary Chan, and squad member Jasmine Titmuss, also a Senior Consultant at PageGroup.
PageGroup MD Andrew Bentote joins Sr Consultant and HK Natoinal Cricketer Jasmine Titmuss at today's team send-off
Mr Andy Bentote, Regional Managing Director, Greater China of PageGroup, and Mr Justin Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Hong Kong, officiated the proceedings, which included a Q&A with the squad ahead of their departure for the tournament tomorrow.
Mr Bentote commented on the new partnership saying, “PageGroup is delighted to extend its support to the Hong Kong Women’s Cricket team for the World Cup qualifier.
“We are proud to be an inclusive and diverse employer and run successful global campaigns supporting initiatives including International Women’s Day. There is always more to do, particularly on gender balance, and we reflect that in the objectives of all our senior leaders so that their commitment to diversity is considered when we assess their performance.
“This year we’ve invested significantly in our programmes for global talent development and succession and have made sure our Global Director Academy reflects our vision and purpose as well as the diversity of our teams – particularly focusing on gender balance.
“We congratulate all of the players selected, and are especially proud of our Senior Consultant Jasmine Titmuss. Jasmine is a leader on the team and in our offices, and we look forward to working closely with her to help her teammates and the next generation of women’s cricketers realize their full potential, in their sporting careers and beyond,” added Mr Bentote.
Hong Kong will play six matches in the ten-day, round-robin with Thailand, China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE. The winner books a place in the final global play-offs for the T20 and 50-Over women’s world cups in 2020.
The top threat is Thailand, ranked 12th in the world in T20 and on home turf. Hong Kong warmed up against the Thais – while scouting some of their other opponents in a build-up competition at the same ground at the end of 2018.
Better prepared than ever and making strides in their increasingly professional approach, Waite says this team can make history by advancing out of Asia for the first time,“In terms of growing women’s cricket in Hong Kong this is a huge opportunity for us, if we can reach that next level.”
The squad nearly achieved the feat two years ago in Waite’s first ICC outing with Hong Kong.
“Sixteen months ago, we were 10 Overs away. We had done really well prior to that, and then 75% through the game with UAE, 30 Overs into a 40-Over game, we went off the rails.
“It was a tough loss for the girls and for me. It was unfortunate, but we have assessed that performance, we know where we went wrong and we have come back stronger.
“This is the best prepared team since I’ve been here. We know more about the teams and now it is about what we do against them. There is some strong competition, so you can’t take any game lightly, but if we want to be successful, we have to win it.
“As a double qualifier, this competition almost determines what will happen in the next two to three years of the women’s game in Hong Kong. For our strategic planning and high-performance set-up, and for the players themselves, this could be a turning point,” he said.
The squad features a healthy number of experienced leaders like Hill, vice captain Kary Chan and Marina Lamplough, currently playing with the Otago Sparks in New Zealand, and former England Academy and Nottinghamshire representative Jasmine Titmuss, who made her Hong Kong debut late last year. At the other end of the scale, the selectors have handed a debut appearance to 15-year old Maryam Bibi, a bowler from Delia Memorial School who plays for Diasqua Little Sai Wan.
“It’s a good mix, with a few young players coming through like Maryam, while our senior players are now entering their prime. Players like Mariko are only 23, 24 years old, so there is still plenty of time for them to stay in the game,” Waite noted.
This engagement with PageGroup will see their logo featured on Hong Kong’s playing kit in Thailand but the association is more than skin deep, with PageGroup lending its professional career consultancy services to members of the women’s team, the majority of whom are amateurs, on an ongoing basis. Amongst the expert advice on offer for team members are resume-writing, job interviewing skills and career coaching sessions to help Hong Kong’s elite female cricket athletes pursue both sporting and professional success.
As part of its support, PageGroup will host members of the National women’s team and age grade national team members for a career advice seminar in March to mark International Women’s Day.
PageGroup is a global champion of workplace diversity, having been named one of The Times UK’s Top 50 Employers For Women.With recent global recruitment surveys indicating that 78% of large employers are actively trying to recruit a more gender diverse talent pool, PageGroup’s association with elite women’s sport is timely and welcome.
Cricket Hong Kong CEO, Mr Justin Pearce, said, “The support of PageGroup is a great indication of the team’s growing profile in the community and we are very grateful for their patronage. By offering their expert career consultancy services, PageGroup is furthering both our aim, and our ability, to prepare elite athletes for success in and after cricket, and I’m confident will create a new source of the skilled, determined and capable female candidates that are in such high demand by international organizations.”
Hong Kong Squad for ICC Asian Qualifiers
Mariko HILL (Captain); Kary CHAN (vice captain); Yasmin DASWANI; Jenefer DAVIES; Jasmine TITMUSS; Betty CHAN, Ruchita VENKATESH; Annie HO; Pull TO; Bella POON; Marina LAMPLOUGH; Mehreen YOUSAF; Alison SIU; Maryam BIBI.
Richard Waite, National Women’s Coach; James Chan, Manager; Chris Picket, Analyst; Neha Kumar; Physiotherapist.
Hong Kong ICC Asian Qualifier Match Schedule
18 Feb UAE v Hong Kong
19 Feb Hong Kong v China
22 Feb Thailand v Hong Kong
24 Feb Nepal v Hong Kong
25 Feb Kuwait v Hong Kong
27 Feb Hong Kong v Malaysia