China Has Arisen Into The Great World Of Cricket

Cricket – “shen shi yun dong”, the Noble Game - has come to China. Following the conclusion in Beijing of the Asian Cricket Council’s inaugural Cricket Skills and Coaching Course for China, the Chinese Cricket Association hosted a high-level media conference at which local and international coaches were asked to contribute.

Mr. Zhang Xioaning, Director of the Multi-ball Games Administration Centre, said, “There are 96 sports in the State Sports Commission but what makes cricket special is that it is a game of the physique, it is a game of the heart, and it is a game of the mind. It is a game for the individual within the team. It is truly a noble game that is perfectly suited to the Chinese people. It is being introduced in China at the best time.”

Over 30 coaches and PE teachers attended from institutions such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Renmin University, Fudan University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Beijing Sports University and the Shanghai Sports Institute. These institutions have all been responsible for creating Olympic and world champions for China.

During the six-day course participants were coached by representatives from the Asian Cricket Council and Cricket Australia. “We were very excited to learn about this great game and we have enjoyed the experience immensely”, said Liu Jingmin of Peking University. “Cricket is a very enjoyable sport for boys and girls, young and old alike.”

50 children from Beijing Railway No. 11 Primary School were also part of the activities and they will perhaps, one day form the squad for what will be a cricket team that will represent China with great honour. The enthusiasm and passion of the children impressed all the coaches from abroad. “Never in my life have I seen any country’s children pick up the game so quickly”, said Rumesh Ratnayake, the Asian Cricket Council’s Development Officer for China. “They had the basics of the game – hitting and throwing – within just five minutes.”

The Asian Cricket Council’s Chief Executive, Syed Ashraful Huq, firmly believes that “China will be playing in World Cups within fifteen years. All the talent and determination is here already and with the hard work and support of the State, I am sure that cricket will be one more sport with which the Chinese people can bring honour to their country.”

Australia is the current world champion country for cricket and their coaches have been hired by the Asian Cricket Council to develop the game in China. Cricket Australia’s General Manager, Game Development, Ross Turner, said “All the coaches here in the playground and classroom are now my colleagues in the world of cricket. Having seen them work, I too firmly believe that China will one day, sooner rather than later, have a team that will play Australia in a World Cup.”

Ms. Cui Weihong, the Secretary General of the Chinese Cricket Association said, “Cricket is the most popular sport in south Asia and is followed by two billion people around the world and has been played for over two hundred years. It has finally started now in China and it is a game in which China has all the potential for success. This Skills and Coaching Course has been a historic occasion and I look forward to the day when we can say that China are the World Champions.”

The world of cricket has undoubtedly been revolutionised.

Filed September 29 2005