Hong Kong motivated by loss of ODI status

Hong Kong

Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath has said that his side were determined to show that they could still compete with the top associate nations from Asia despite losing their ODI status earier this year.

Rath said that victories over Nepal and the United Arab Emirates, who both sport ODI status, were particularly enjoyable.

Speaking after the two-wicket victory over the UAE in the Asia Cup qualifying tournament final Rath said: “It is a great feeling.

“I think we wanted to show the world what we can do despite losing the ODI status.

“Beating both ODI nations (UAE and Nepal) quite comprehensively in this tournament, and beating one of them twice, just sort of explains how we play our cricket. And hopefully, to show the rest of the world that the standard of Associate cricket has improved over the last couple of years.”

Seamer Aizaz Khan said the poor showing at the World Cup qualifiers earlier this year that saw Hong Kong lose their ODI status motivated the team to earn a spot at the 2018 Asia Cup. The reward for Hong Kong will be massive clashes with Pakistan and India.

Khan said: “Obviously, we had a really bad tournament in Zimbabwe at the World Cup qualifiers, we lost our one-day status and it was really bad.

“After that, we worked really hard for this Asia Cup qualifiers. We worked really hard for two months back in Hong Kong.

“Coming here, we wanted to qualify for the Asia Cup, and we know we had a better team than we had performed in Zimbabwe. I think the way the guys played in the qualifier was amazing. It was a great tournament for us. Feels really good.”

Skipper Rath credited the character showed by his team who lost the first game of the qualifying tournament to minnows Malaysia.

“So it really meant a lot to the fellows, especially after going through a bit of a down period and then we lost the ODI status,” Rath said.

“It was something that the boys needed just to reassure ourselves that we can perform at this level and we can do it. All the hard work that has gone in this tournament over the last couple of months really has paid off. And the boys have shown really good character especially after losing that first game to Malaysia in the qualifiers.”