China to join international and Asian cricket families

KARACHI: China could be playing international cricket within two decades after being cleared to join the Asian cricket family later in November, the Asian Cricket Council announced Tuesday.

“We are all set to give China associate membership later this month,” the council’s chief executive Ashraful Huq told AFP. “I am amazed at the level of cricket interest in common people and seriousness of the officials in China.” Huq, who visited Hong Kong for the recent Super Sixes tournament, said Chinese officials approached him and said they were applying for membership of the Asian Cricket Council. They were also seeking affiliate membership of the International Cricket Council. Huq visited China in September and met Chinas director of sports Lu Zai Hua, paving the way for China’s entry into the Asian Cricket Council.

He said the council feels Chinas inclusion in their fold will lift Asian cricket. “The Chinese officials have done their homework and are so meticulous in their planning that I see them playing international cricket in the next 15 to 20 years,” he said. “The Chinese say cricket is a game with no body contact and thats why Chinese people are taking interest. Their eye-to-hand skills in table tennis and body balance in martial art help them in cricket.”

China’s cities of Beijing and Shanghai have local cricket clubs and proper grounds. The Asian Cricket Council currently has 20 full members with Test nations like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. -AFP

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