The Hong Kong Cricket Association has announced central contracts for nine players, with captain Jamie Atkinson and opening batsman Irfan Ahmed in the highest-earning Category A. Atkinson and Irfan will earn an allowance of HK$ 11,500 per month.

Category B included bowlers Nadeem Ahmed, Haseeb Amjad and Tanwir Afzal, and allrounder Nizakhat Khan, while batsmen Waqas Barkat and Babar Hayat as well as fast bowler Aizaz Khan came under Category C.

"Several of these players have been paid for some time now but this is the first time we are handing out central contracts. This is for a one-year period starting this month," Mike Walsh, the HKCA chairman, said. "All this money will come from the ICC's high-performance fund."

Hong Kong have had a memorable year in cricket. In February, they won ODI status after narrowly missing out on a spot in the 2015 World Cup. A month later, they upset Bangladesh in the World T20.