A first consignment of bats, balls and other paraphernalia will be sent to China in a month or two, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The move follows a request from the Chinese authorities.

To help Chinese youngsters India plans to send coaches from the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, accompanied by umpires and groundsmen.

"China has already taken to cricket at the schools level in a big way," a BCCI spokesman said. "It's time to support a blossoming love of the game."

The Chinese Cricket Association hopes to have 15,000 cricketers — plus enough umpires and coaches to allow them to play — by next year. It aims for 60,000 by 2012.

The ACC hopes to have 150,000 players in the country by 2020. Rashid Khan, the former Pakistan international, whose services have been lent by the Pakistan Cricket Board, has been appointed Chinese national coach until the 2010 Asian Games.


Filed April 8, 2008