January 21, 2009

China fail despite baby boom

Martin Williamson

As if there weren’t enough statisticians in the world, someone, somewhere, has calculated that when China played Maldives in the Asian Cricket Council Challenge this week the population differential was around 3300. Still awake? Ok, China’s population is roughly 1.30 billion and the Maldives 386,000, so China is 3368 times as populous.

Within minutes the anoraks had come flooding out of the cupboards in bedsits across the world. The net result was the 2007 World Cup match between India (1.15 billion) and Bermuda (66,000) was identified as producing an even greater disparity, around 17,420.

Baring any major improvements, this record seems to set to stay unless Cayman Islands (52,000, with more registered businesses than people) storm into a World Cup. The Falkland Islands, an Affiliate member of the ICC, has only 3000 inhabitants of the non-penguin variety and is a good long-term bet.

And for the record books, outpopulated or not, Maldives cracked 376 for 7 from their 50 overs before China were dismissed for 61.

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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