The Sri Lanka Army team and China at Panagoda

China's women's squad has completed a tour of Sri Lanka. The tourists played six Twenty20 matches against strong women’s teams from the Sri Lankan armed forces, many of whose players make up the island's national squad. "Going from -25 degrees in north China to +25 degrees in Sri Lanka, it took us one game to adjust, but after that I was very happy with the way we played," says China's coach Manjurul Islam. "We took our opponents deep into the 20 overs in three of our matches when they chased," he added.

China’s captain Huang Zhuo hits a 6
With a number of first-team regulars – strike bowler Wang Meng, all-rounder Yu Miao, opener Zhang Mei – absent through work commitments, several of China’s U-19s stepped up, and “performed very well,” says Manjurul. China played games against Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Army and the Sri Lanka Navy in a tour that ran from December 29 to January 10. China’s Assistant coach Ge Tao, who has been coaching since 2008 after a career in volleyball, said “Sri Lanka has always been a great place for the girls to learn. They get to understand that cricket is not just for the people at the ground but also for many others in the country who give their time and service and interest to Asia’s most successful game. We are very grateful for the opportunity created by Sri Lanka to play here.”

Liu Jie bowling for China at Panagoda
Sri Lanka’s players used China’s tour to tune up for a series against Pakistan in Sharjah. Hong Kong are planning an invitational tournament for Asia’s top women’s teams later in the year. China’s next international tournament will be the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in Thailand sometime in November. “When you see how much our cricketers have to give up in terms of jobs and opportunities just to play cricket, you wish that one day cricket in China can receive as much as support as the top women players of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” said the former Bangladesh pace-bowler Manjurul Islam.

Pictures by Ge Tao

China Cricket Profile

Filed January 19th, 2015