China February 16, 2007

China ... the fragile reality

Matthew Pryor in The Times take a look at the reality behind stories that cricket is about to take off in China:-

Matthew Pryor in The Times take a look at the reality behind stories that cricket is about to take off in China:-

Thus far, many of the clichéd reports of cricket gripping the Chinese have been just that — the truth has been much more fragile. But as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and there has been genuine movement in the past two years.

Malcom Speed, never a man to miss an opportunity for massive new markets for the game has his own thoughts.

“There’s been a very good start in China …this is a ten-year project and no one should be under any illusion that results will appear overnight.”

But Robin Marlar, who as president of MCC led a club tour there last year, makes clear that the state, as with most walks of life, is in control and wants to remain that way.

“The Chinese Government want to keep the two streams apart. For them it is politically essential. They want it to become their game, not an expat game.”

And, Marlar asked, what about the lack of coaches?

“They [the Chinese officials] said, ‘Don’t worry, we will take them into camp for three months’ and when I pressed the point they said it may well be six months. That is how they launched table tennis and swimming, in which they now excel. They just did it. The potential is enormous.”

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Optimist on March 20, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    One needs to consider in the broadest sense that sport for the non-player is about enjoyment and also bridging cultures. However China get there, irrespective of how this affects the ICC, I wish them all the best.

  • Cynic on February 16, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    As ever with the ICC, its about cash. The only reason Speed and his bunch want into China is so they can get even more television cash to squander on flights around the world and top hotels for them and their mates.

  • Optimist on March 20, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    One needs to consider in the broadest sense that sport for the non-player is about enjoyment and also bridging cultures. However China get there, irrespective of how this affects the ICC, I wish them all the best.

  • Cynic on February 16, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    As ever with the ICC, its about cash. The only reason Speed and his bunch want into China is so they can get even more television cash to squander on flights around the world and top hotels for them and their mates.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Cynic on February 16, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    As ever with the ICC, its about cash. The only reason Speed and his bunch want into China is so they can get even more television cash to squander on flights around the world and top hotels for them and their mates.

  • Optimist on March 20, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    One needs to consider in the broadest sense that sport for the non-player is about enjoyment and also bridging cultures. However China get there, irrespective of how this affects the ICC, I wish them all the best.