The cream of the Shenzhen women cricketers have reached Chengdu after a 31-hour train journey from their base in Shenyang, north-east China. Three more, including national captain, Mei Chun Hua, have joined them along with five softball players chosen for their fielding ability.

Ten of the national men’s squad are also in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in south central China. The slogan of this camp - they are given a fresh one each time - “Be Motivated By the Possibility”. Everyone’s aiming for the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November 2010.

Pointing the Way: Aminul Islam with National Captain Zhao Wang

The camp is at a baseball-softball sports centre in Chengdu High Tech Zone which the Chinese Cricket Association has chosen as its spring training facility. A baseball coach has joined the cricketers, “his role is to improve skills like throwing technique, fitness, upper body flexibility et cetera,” says ACC Development Officer for China Aminul Islam.

Two semi-indoor nets have been set-up with bowling machines and are used three days a week from 3 PM to 5.45 PM. Warm-ups, fielding and batting and bowling skill development is done from 9AM - 12PM. On Saturdays, a 40-over match is played among the camp members and on Sundays there are match-simulation exercises.

“It is a very full, intensive program for these cricketers. It is tough but it is the way things have to be if China is to represent itself with the right honour in the Asian Games,” says national coach Rashid Khan. Javed Miandad, Pakistan’s Ambassador for Cricket to China, visited the facilities last week.

The Chengdu camp will continue until the end of April for the women, and through May for the men.


Related: China Camp it Up
China Country Profile

Filed March 20, 2009