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China will make their debut in international cricket at the adult level at next month's ACC Trophy Challenge in Bangkok, with the spotlight very much on them after an appalling display in the Asian Cricket Council's Under-17 Challenge Cup in Bangkok last month.
Chaina have benefited from considerable funding by both the ACC and ICC, but a woeful display in Thailand raised considerable questions regarding the wisdom of the investments.
China will be in Group B, the weaker of the two which includes Maldives and Thailand. Their first match will be against Iran on January 13
Tournament favourites, Oman, are in Group A with Bhutan, Brunei and Myanmar.
Oman have an interesting playing schedule in the next few months. In January they play the likes of Myanmar and Brunei in the ACC Trophy Challenge and in April will contest the World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa against teams such as Ireland and Scotland.
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Assistant editor Will opted against a lifetime of head-bangingly dull administration in the NHS, where he had served for two years. In 2005 came a break at Cricinfo where he slotted right in as a ferociously enthusiastic tea drinker and maker, with a penchant for using "frankly" and "marvellous". He also runs The Corridor, a cricket blog where he can be found ranting and raving about all things - some even involving the sport. He is a great-great nephew of Sir Jack Newman, the former Wellingtonian bowler who took two wickets at 127 apiece for New Zealand.