Tim Cutler, the chief executive of Hong Kong Cricket, has entered the debate over their one-day practice match against England in Abu Dhabi, calling it "a historic event where the teams met for the first ever time in a fifty over match" and holding out hopes of a full ODI against England in the future.

While expressing gratitude to England for the opportunity, he also reflected upon Hong Kong's ODI status and warned: "We need to make sure there are cohesive plans around fast tracking the development of emerging cricket nations across the globe."

The match was played as a 13-a-side practice match with the opportunity to play a full ODI against Hong Kong, who won full ODI status last year, not taken.

Cutler suggested that time was short after the Emirates Cricket Board offered the Hong Kong fixture to England - and a Nepal fixture to Pakistan - via the ICC Development Team in Dubai.

"To provide the best possible practice situation for both teams, it was then agreed between the coaching staff of both teams that 13 players would be allowed to participate from each team, with only 11 allowed to bat and/or field at any one time.

"We appreciate the opportunity for our players to benefit from the experience in playing against a full-strength England ODI squad in preparation for Hong Kong's ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC World Cricket League Championship matches."

Cutler was careful to show gratitude to ECB, and especially his fellow chief executive Tom Harrison, for their qualified support and also praised Harrison's interest in cricket as an Olympic sport, indicating that - comparatively at least - there are some signs of a more expansionist attitude under Harrison's stewardship.

But he did not sidestep the very real issues facing Associate nations as they attempt to gain opportunities to grow the game, confirming that a reluctance from all parties to foot the bill for an ODI (thought to be less than $100,000) had played a part in the negotiations.

"In response to various media reports and approaches; yes, the matter of the total cost for an ODI was mentioned during the (last minute) arrangements of the fixture, as would be expected," he said.

"Perhaps, if both parties had longer to prepare, a full ODI may have been feasible and hopefully this is something both parties can consider for the future. However the reality was that in the time available - less than a month - the proper arrangements that would normally be covered by a series MOU could not be completed in time.

A memorandum of understanding describes a formal agreement between the parties indicating how a match should be staged and can vary in complexity depending on the requirements of those involved.

"However frustrating it may seem (especially from an Associate ODI-status member perspective) the fixture would not have proceeded if not for the support of the ECB, especially its CEO, Tom Harrison. Tom has been one of the main drivers behind the scenes in the ECB's change of stance to now support Cricket as an Olympic sport and the HKCA applauds his efforts in this respect.

"I believe including cricket in the Olympics, alongside an expanded World Cup & World Twenty20 tournament structure are all critical to our sport's growth. If we ever truly want to be the world's favourite sport, we need to make sure there are cohesive pans around fast tracking the development of emerging cricket nations across the globe.

"I think this particular instance highlights a need for an expanded fund / mechanism to support ODI / T20i matches between FMs and all High Performance Associate Members to underpin the bridging of the gaps between cricket emerging and the developed world. I look forward to discussing this more with the ICC Development Team as they continue to assist us in our future plans for Hong Kong's cricketing success."

Hong Kong, ranked 16th in ODIs and 11th in T20Is, are holding preliminary discussions with at least two such nations.

They also have a T20 fixture against Pakistan later in the month - although as yet this also has no T20 status - before official T20s against Afghanistan and Oman.

March sees Hong Kong in a second, and successive, World Twenty20. Prior to the tournament, Hong Kong will host an inaugural home series against Scotland in January, and will take part in the Asia Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in mid-February.