Hong Kong news November 23, 2015

Hong Kong makes breakthrough to host its first ODI

ESPNcricinfo staff

'There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia' - HKCA CEO Tim Cutler Martin Hunter / © IDI/Getty

Hong Kong will host Scotland in January 2016 for two World Cricket League games, the first ever ODIs to be played here. There will be a four-day Intercontinental Cup match, which will be the first time first-class cricket takes place here as well. The schedule also accounts for a couple of T20Is pending confirmation.

Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) made the announcement after the ICC approved the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground (also called Mission Road) as an ODI venue. Match referee David Boon was one of two representatives who had inspected the stadium.

"There is real opportunity here for us to develop a beacon here for cricket in East Asia, whilst assisting the HKCA as it strives to be a leader for emerging cricket nations globally," board CEO Tim Cutler said. "With talk of cricket's inclusion at the Olympics increasing, I think it is critical we do not overlook the opportunity to provide a world-class facility where we could also host women's and under-age World Cup events. Twenty20 matches (or franchises) from the hugely successful Indian Premier League and Australian Big Bash Leagues are also an option."

"We could even provide a neutral Test venue. All of these would generate immense global interest and the potential TV revenue alone makes this a very exciting prospect, along with the obvious exposure for Hong Kong itself."

While this has been a good first step, Cutler admitted there was still some work to be done. "On the topic of grounds, we are continuing our discussions with the government and its appointed agents about accommodating cricket appropriately at the proposed Kai Tak Multi-Purpose Sports Complex."

Hong Kong was awarded ODI status in October 2014 and are 16th in the ICC Rankings. Scotland are 14th.

11.20 GMT The article had incorrectly stated the Scotland series will mark the arrival of international cricket in China