Hong Kong news April 27, 2016

HK confirm fixtures against Ireland and Scotland

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hong Kong openers Jamie Atkinson and Ryan Campbell walk out to bat during the World T20 © International Cricket Council

Hong Kong have become the latest Associate nation to confirm fixtures against Ireland and Scotland in what is becoming an increasingly busy 2016 season.

The squad will face Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup clash from August 30 to September 2 in Belfast before following up with two T20Is. They will then head to Edinburgh to play Scotland in two ODIs on September 8 and 10, in the second edition of a clash that is now known as the Braidwood Cup.

"A big focus of our performance goals is to schedule more international matches outside the ICC events," Charlie Burke, Hong Kong's director of cricket, said. "The Ireland T20I matches and the Braidwood Cup against Scotland is the perfect opportunity."

Hong Kong are currently ranked fourth in the I-Cup table, while Ireland sit top having won all three matches played. The two last played each other in an official match at the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in 2015, in which Hong Kong beat Ireland by 5 runs.

Hong Kong hosted Scotland in the inaugural Braidwood Cup last January, in honour of the late Scottish founder of the Craigengower Cricket Club, William Drew Braidwood.

The home team won that rain-affected series by winning an ODI and splitting the two T20Is. The two teams met again during the World Twenty20 last March, with Scotland securing their first victory in 21 attempts at an ICC world event.

"The new national squad announcement and contracts mean we will give further opportunities to our players knocking on the door for selection," Burke added. "The squad is working harder than ever and I do believe we need to be exposed to playing more international matches.

"We are sending six of our squad to the UK for the summer which will greatly assist long-term development as well as ensuring our players adapt well to the northern hemisphere conditions."