China Makes The Great Leap Forward

The Asian Cricket Council has sent a coaching delegation to Beijing in a bid to help fast-track China as a competitive cricket nation.

The ACC’s Game Development consultants, Cricket Australia, and ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake lead the delegation which will run a six-day Cricket Skills and Coaching course for thirty coaches from Shanghai and Beijing. Many of the Chinese coaches work at university-level in various ball-sports.

“Developing a cricket culture takes time, but one thing we can be sure of is that China is now ready, willing and able to make the great leap forward into cricket. Their Olympic athletes impressed us all in Sydney and then Athens, and they have emerged as champions in a very short space of time,” said Syed Ashraful Huq, Chief Executive of the Asian Cricket Council.

“Looking ahead, China is the next frontier for the game’s expansion. Coaching, funding and facilities are in place to fast-track China into playing one-day matches against ICC Affiliates and Associates within the next few years. China themselves have prepared a comprehensive plan to develop the game within the People’s Republic and they have come to us, the Asian Cricket Council to help them realise their vision. They very much want to be a part of the Asian game,” said Mr. Huq.

“The long-term objective is for China to participate in future World Cups. The potential benefits and commercial revenues from its presence in the cricket world are enormous. As soon as China breaks through, I foresee the total global revenues for cricket increasing by up to 30-40%.”

Australia’s International Development Program Manager Ross Turner said the purpose of visiting China was to help give coaches the necessary skills, resources and capacity to build the game among the 1.3 billion population.

“China, unlike Australia, is not a nation where cricket is an ingrained part of its culture,” said Mr Turner. “Cricket is fresh and new in that country and we have an opportunity to work with the Asian Cricket Council to help build the game from the basic foundations, and share our skills and knowledge in coach education. The ultimate goal is to develop players who have the ability to play cricket at an elite level.”

The six-day coaching course will cover cricket rules, scoring, equipment and facilities; skill development; game-specific workshops and practical sessions.

The materials for the Cricket Skills and Coaching course have already been translated, and Mandarin editions of the Laws of Cricket have been available in China since May.

Filed September 15 2005