The Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee have started work on outlining three sites for the construction of grounds to be used for men's and women's cricket in the 2010 event.

The grounds are to be on the eco-island of the Guangzhou Higher Education MegaCentre and are one of five venue clusters to be used for the Games.

Proposed sites for the three cricket grounds in Guangzhou (marked in red) in the south-west corner of Guangzhou's Higher Education MegaCentre

Tian Xinde, GAGOC Director of Sports says "We have placed this new sport of cricket in the 'University City' because of the 10,000 students resident in the area. Cricket is a new sport in China and we think the young will most appreciate the development. The government of Guangzhou has a youth focus and it is in the young that we wish to encourage the cricket spirit."

One of the sites proposed for Guangzhou's cricket grounds

Following the site inspection, in a key meeting with the ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq, Mr. Xinde and GAGOC personnel were briefed on the benefits and opportunities that cricket would bring to Guangzhou. "Guangzhou has so much to offer the world of cricket that I had to do nothing more than affirm the enduring appeal of the game to people in Asia and all those from cricket-playing countries already resident in China (about 150,000). Guangzhou's climate and location give it a long-playing season and I envisage the ACC, Hong Kong and the CCA all making use of the facilities. In addition, once these top-class venues are constructed, full internationals could easily be staged here."

A model of the Higher Education Mega Centre as it will be in 2010

Cricket is one of the 15 sports in 22 venues in the Higher Education Mega Centre. Ninety venues in total will be used for the 42-event Games, a mixture of training and competition sites. Many are in use already and, along with an extended subway-system linking all venues, the remainder will be completed by December 2009.

"There is much expert preparation to be done. We knew very little about cricket (ban quio) up to meeting the ACC," says Mr. Xinde. Adding, "Most important, we can see the future of the commercial market which cricket will bring to China. More and more China will like this game thanks to 2010."

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Filed August 16 2007