November 3, 2009

Chinese choice: Mexican wave, Indian style


Members of the Chinese women's team in Mohali © AFP

Among the packed crowd watching India play Australia at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Monday was a group of highly excited young women getting their first taste of cricket in India. They were members of the Chinese national women’s cricket team, currently in India, training for the 2010 Asian Games where the sport will make its debut. Cricket is rarely shown on TV back in China but whatever they’d seen couldn’t have matched up to the noise and spectacle of a packed house. “We are used to watching rugby, badminton or gymnastics at home, but nothing is as big as cricket is here,” Zhou Haijie, an offpsinner, told The Indian Express. “Watching the game was very insightful,” Zhang Jing Jing said, “the Mexican waves in the stands were the most fun.” What hit them the most? The noise in the stadium after an Indian boundary. “It's so loud,” said offspinner Zhou Haijie. “I didn't know 35,000 people could make noise for a billion.”

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo