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“CHINA CAN QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD CUP IN 2015”: MALCOLM SPEED

Shanghai's Women cricketers preparing to take on Scotland, September 21 2006

Speaking at a Press Conference in Beijing at the culmination of the ICC and ACC Tour of Inspection, the International Cricket Council Chief Executive Malcolm Speed, confidently asserted his belief that China could be a presence in the World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

“The Women’s World Cup in India in 2013 is also a possibility”, said Mr. Speed and added, “I have seen fifteen year old cricketers (in Beijing) who, if guided correctly, have the ability to feature in World Cups less then ten years from now.”

Shaharyar Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, was also present in Beijing and commented, “Everything I have seen points to China’s successful engagement with cricket. I expect the women in particular to come along very strongly, ahead of the men, in the immediate future.”

U-15 training at the Zheichunli Middle School, September 19, 2006

Mr. Speed continued, “Since China became a member of the ICC (in 2004), they have made great progress. We've been very pleased to hear that some plans are in place, and some works have been carried out already…..Countries with a 300-year old history of playing cricket could be looking at China in 2015 and wondering, ‘how did they come up so quickly?’”.

Filed October 5 2006

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