May 2, 2008


Slow progress continues in China

Martin Williamson

Shandong, the second-most populous province in China, has become the seventh region after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Liaoning, Chongqing and Tianjin to officially take up cricket, according to a media release from the Asian Cricket Council.

“The Shandong people are well known for their good physical condition in China … the majority of rugby players are from Shandong,” Aminul Islam, the ACC’s development officer for China, said. With cricket being aligned with rugby in the multi-ball games administrative centre in China, the Chinese Cricket Association (CCA) felt a partnership between both bodies to make use of athletes all-year round would be ideal.

”The local education bureau has said that they would organize the local junior students to learn cricket for promotion and then build for high performance,” said CCA secretary-general Liu Rongyao.

The appeal of taking the game to China is not hard to see. "The potential benefits and commercial revenues from [China's] presence in the cricket world are enormous," said Syed A shraful Huq, the ACC’s chief executive. "As soon as China breaks though, I foresee the total global revenues for cricket increasing by 30% to 40%.”


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

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Posted by chris roche on (June 26, 2008, 13:37 GMT)

china and other countries such as the associate nations should be allowed to play in world cups i know loads of people at the top of cricket don't like this but what if the tournament allowed 32 teams to compete like in the football it would bring more money to cricket and plus in 20 or 30 years time china will be just as good as Australia.

Posted by Oliver Chettle on (May 8, 2008, 17:11 GMT)

China does not have a "rich tradition of excellence in sports". On the contrary it hardly has any traditions in sport at all, but recently its authoritarian government has bought its way up the Olympic medal table by ruthlessly focusing on elite talent programmes in sports which offer many Olympic medals.

Posted by Arjun Chaudhuri on (May 7, 2008, 10:48 GMT)

If the world cricketing fraternity is looking to bank on China for boosting global revenues for the game, a “slow progress” is not the order of the day. After becoming an ICC member, China took the vow of making it to the ICC World Cup by 2020. Now that seven provinces of the most populous country, which has a more than rich tradition of excellence in sports, has taken to cricket, the country should aim at qualifying for the World Cup faster than its original target. Perhaps the Chinese batsmen will do better than mastering inside edges, commonly known as the Chinese Cut.

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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