Indian-origin cricketer Anshuman Rath, who captained the Hong Kong national cricket team has stepped down from his position and made himself unavailable for selection to instead play in the Indian first-class setup, with a view to eventually play for India one day.

“I would like to thank Cricket Hong Kong for everything that they have done for me over the years. It has been a very enjoyable ride with them since the age of 12 but I believe it is time to move on. I wish the players and support staff all the best and I will be keeping a close eye on their future endeavours,” Rath told Emerging Cricket

Rath, who holds an Indian passport will also be able to enter the IPL 2020 draft as a local ‘uncapped’ player. Rath averages 51.75 from 15 ODIs and across his 9 First Class innings he has scored 391 runs at an average of over 65.

When asked if he eventually wanted to play for India, Rath said, “that is the end goal yes, absolutely.

“In the first instance however, this opportunity provides a chance to train and play full-time in a fully-professional system, with the added incentive down the line of potentially playing Test cricket. This has always been my dream, and the false start to my chance in the English system resulted in me taking a good look at all my options.”

The “false start” Rath is referring to is when he was offered a contract by English county side Middlesex, but could not obtain a visa since it was only available for players who belonged to players from full member nations of the ICC.

“I will also be proud to have represented my birthplace, but I have to be completely honest with myself about the opportunities that are there for me both in earning capacity and playing experience with Hong Kong,” Rath continued.

“With a 10-team World Cup and the First Class Intercontinental Cup being more or less cancelled, my skill set and future as a cricketer really does depend on me being able to find chances that best fit my style of play, which I have been working very hard on to suit all formats. This decision allows me my best chance to make the sport I love a long-term career option.”

Speaking about the development, Cricket Hong Kong’s High Performance Manager said, “Cricket Hong Kong would like to thank Anshuman for his outstanding contribution over his many years representing Hong Kong and wish him well for his future endeavours.”

Hong Kong’s next assignment will be a 5-nation T20I series in Oman from 3rd October.