China can help cricket's Olympic bid
Syed Ashraful Huq, the chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) believes that China's foray into the game will boost the chances of cricket making it as an Olympic sport.
"China's standing as the world's leading sporting nation can play a major role in influencing future Olympic rosters," Huq was quoted by the Associated Press of Pakistan. He said that China's say could help cricket's chances to make it to Olympics and that's why the game needed to be developed in the country. "I don't know if cricket can make it into the London Olympics in 2012, where it could have demonstration status, but maybe the one after that."
Huq indicated that although over a 100 countries played the sport, a major nation like China playing the game could help it qualify as a truly global sport. He felt that cricket's debut at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games will give the game a fillip in China.
He expressed confidence over the game's progress in Asia. "Eventually cricket will become the biggest game in the Asian Games - the number one, because it is seen by the most and it is followed by the most," he said.
Huq, who visited Guangzhou to see the cricket facilities being developed for the Asian Games, also praised the Pakistan Cricket Board for their assistance in promoting the game in China.
Cricket has been played only once at the Olympics, in 1900, though only one match was played, between England and France. Cricket also featured in the 1998 Commonwealth games in Malaysia.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo