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Thread: China Embrace Cricket!

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    Banned Blaze's Avatar
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    China Embrace Cricket!

    By Mary-Anne Toy Herald Correspondent in Beijing
    March 4, 2006

    CRICKET is not a sport one normally associates with China, but the world's most populous nation has embarked on an ambitious plan to change that.
    China's sporting mandarins have dubbed it "the noble game", and with communist single-mindedness have plotted a five-year plan to become a cricketing nation.
    The Asian Cricket Council's media officer, Shahriar Khan, said China's interest in cricket was simple. It realised that the biggest game in Asia is cricket - a game that China's major rival in the region, India, happens to be rather good at. With China increasingly making its presence felt in the region, learning to play cricket makes good sense.
    "China very much wants to engage with Asia via this game - they've seen Sri Lanka, a tiny country of 20 million winning a World Cup, and with 1.3 billion people are thinking: surely, surely we can win this as well," Mr Khan said.
    This month, 30 of the country's leading physical education teachers and coaches from sports such as baseball, softball and table tennis were accredited as China's first cricket umpires and coaches. They have been instructed to go back to their schools and universities and start spreading the word.
    By 2009, according to the five-year plan, there will be at least 720 teams across the country in a highly organised system designed to channel promising youngsters from primary schools into the top secondary schools and then China's elite universities.
    The aim is to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, and to ultimately beat its rising economic rival India in a Test.
    This might seem far-fetched for a country that does not have even one cricket pitch yet, where the game is not shown on TV and where cricket is the almost exclusive domain of expats in Beijing and Shanghai.
    China's cricketing association admits there are probably only 100 cricketers in China - including foreigners. The game has been introduced to just eight schools. But never underestimate the Chinese, especially when national pride and politics is at stake.
    China quietly began turning itself into a cricketing nation two years ago. It joined the International Cricket Council as an affiliate, engaged Cricket Australia as a consultant and hired the former Sri Lankan Test player Rumesh Ratnayake as head coach.
    Last September Cricket Australia ran its first six-day training camp in Beijing. Led by the Asian project leader, Ross Turner, the Australians gave a crash course to sport coaches and 50 Beijing primary schoolchildren. A second camp was held this year.
    For the ICC, the experiment is fascinating because, although a cricket game was recorded in 1858 in Shanghai, the Chinese have no colonial baggage or grudges. "To them it's just a bat and ball game, so it's a very pure experiment. It's not about social graces or elitism," Mr Khan said.

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    International Vice-Captain 33/3from3.3's Avatar
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    Be cool if China play in the future
    peersonally i would love it
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    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    I would not want the current Chinese regime getting anywhere near world cricket.
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    A communist Cricket team? At least there wouldn't be any disciplinary issues...
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    Chinese cricket would be a hoot, it in a nation of about 1.5 billion
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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb
    I would not want the current Chinese regime getting anywhere near world cricket.
    Could it be any worse than the ICC?

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    I think its fantastic that China is makinga huge effort to become competitive in cricket, with their huge population it would be a massive boost for the game of cricket as a whole
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Old news.
    Matthew Engel mentioned this 2 years ago.
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    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
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    I think it would be great if China were to join the cricket community. Their huge poppulation and the subsequent money/interest their entry will pump bring in has to be a positive.

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    The Chinese government is helping build stadia for the 2007 World Cup. Go them.
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    Wow, sounds awesome, good luck to them.. I guess when you have 1.3 billion people you can do most things!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb
    I would not want the current Chinese regime getting anywhere near world cricket.

    Aye we dont want to tarnish Crickets international reputation.

    Thats Zimbabwe's job.

    Personally think its a good thing. More people playing cricket, watching cricket, enjoying cricket, surely must bring more positives than it does negatives.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb
    I would not want the current Chinese regime getting anywhere near world cricket.
    Pah. China's hardly communist any more. It's not as if they've done anything bad to soccer or baseball (alright, the swimming thing wasn't good).
    In terms of cricket, it'd be one of the best things for the sport, having so many people play it. And I'd just love it from a personal point of view, too, having lived there and played in the first league there. The problem is, it does need to start being broadcast on TV, because people just have no idea what it is. We'd be playing games and passerbys would stop for up to ten minutes to watch what was going on. Even during the Sixes when it was free entry to the ground and we had ex-international players, we didn't really have any local Chinese coming in. In fact, the only locals we had playing were in the woman's team, who were mainly brought in by single expat men.

    However, as Richard said, there has been things like this said for a long time, and there wouldn't even be a national team, unless you count the Shanghai club team.
    Last edited by andyc; 03-03-2006 at 10:05 PM.
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    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyc
    Pah. China's hardly communist any more. It's not as if they've done anything bad to soccer or baseball (alright, the swimming thing wasn't good).
    In terms of cricket, it'd be one of the best things for the sport, having so many people play it. And I'd just love it from a personal point of view, too, having lived there and played in the first league there. The problem is, it does need to start being broadcast on TV, because people just have no idea what it is. We'd be playing games and passerbys would stop for up to ten minutes to watch what was going on. Even during the Sixes when it was free entry to the ground and we had ex-international players, we didn't really have any local Chinese coming in. In fact, the only locals we had playing were in the woman's team, who were mainly brought in by single expat men.

    However, as Richard said, there has been things like this said for a long time, and there wouldn't even be a national team, unless you count the Shanghai club team.
    True. Bit ambitious about the aiminig for 2019 world cup, though i guess its possible with their population and resources available. Would be great for the game of cricket if they did well.
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