For a change, India and Pakistan have joined hands for a cause — to develop cricket in China.
At the ICC Board meeting in Dubai on Sunday, members were apprised on the sport’s state in China, an Affiliate member. There are approximately 80,000 players, including 35,000 women cricketers.
Excited by the figures, the Board agreed that the ICC must continue to work with the Chinese Cricket Association on a long-term strategy for development.
In 2009, the Indian Board had sent equipment valued at over Rs 2 million, and since then has helped, including imparting technical knowhow, this “unknown sport” create space in a country passionate about table tennis, badminton, football and basketball.
If earlier limited opportunities were available from March-September in Beijing, Shenyang and Shanghai, 10 cities have now been earmarked for developing infrastructure.
“The game has seen massive growth at the school and college level. Players used to hold a bat like a baseball slugger when I came in 2006, but after the last two Asian Games, cricket has gained ground. India has helped create interest, but Pakistan has also played a role as it was the Pakistan Cricket Board which sent me to coach the national teams,” Rashid Khan, a former international, told HT from Karachi.
Rashid has been the national coach for the men’s and women’s teams since November 2006.