Mr. Rumesh Ratnayake : Country Report China

Visited Shanghai from 11th - 15th September 2003.
 
CONTACT DETAILS : Mr. Lu Zhihua
Duty Chief, Chinese Cricket Association
5, Tiyuguan Road ,Beijing ,China 100763
Tel : (86-10) 85825991, 85825990
Fax : (86-10) 85825994
            Mobile : 13801302628
Mobile : 13801302628
     
  : Mr. Scott Brown
President, Shanghai Cricket and Rugby Football Club
9C, CVIC Plaza ,819 Nanjing Road West ,Shanghai 200041, China
Tel : 021-62158574
Fax : 021-62158572
Mobile : 13901883040
E-mail : scottb@public7.sta.net.cn
 
In my preliminary visit to China in September 2002, I met Mr Scott Brown but could not meet any other officials in the Ministry of Sports in China . This time however, the situation was different and we acted on the opportunity to go for the Sixes and meet various officials at meetings which had been arranged for our visit, as we realised that this would be a turning point in the development process of cricket.
Scott Brown who is the organising Chairman of the Annual Six a Side Tournament which is held in Shanghai, invited the Chief Executive Officer of  the ACC, Mr Syed Ashraful Huq and myself this year to check into the possibility of developing cricket in China. Since this was the opportunity the ACC was waiting for, arrangements were made by Mr. Scott Brown at the request of the CEO to meet with officials of the Sports Ministry of China, Sir Vivian Richards had been invited as Guest of Honour for the occasion but could not attend due to hurricane Isabel causing havoc in the Caribbean at the time. Mr. Ashraful Huq was asked to give an after-dinner speech at the official Sixers Dinner, which I am sure caught him by surprise. He, however, stood up to the challenge and kept the whole audience spellbound with the brilliance of his off the cuff speech. The six-a-side tournament is a leisure tournament which is organised merely for pleasure and is an ideal stepping stone to promote the game in Shanghai . Cricket is still being played among the expatriates, mainly British, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Indians and Pakistanis in the two main cities of Shanghai and Beijing . Mr. Scott Brown who is the President of the Shanghai Rugby Football and Cricket Club was instrumental in arranging the meeting between the ACC and the Chinese Cricket Association (Mr. Lu Zhihua ).  The capacity and the enthusiasm Mr. Scott Brown has for cricket needs to be mentioned and should be made used of to promote the game in China .
 
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
  • One of the main objectives to be in China was to meet the officials and have a breakthrough in promoting cricket in China . 
  • To make China an associate member of ACC and thereafter grant them membership of the ICC.
  • To plan and implement cricket awareness programmes to promote the game.
  • To continue the good work done by Mr. Scott Brown and his associates to help promote the game by providing equipment, coaching assistance and other help in other technical areas.
  • For China to be a fast-track country of the ACC and to achieve one-day international status in the future.
  • Long-term objective is to participate in a World Cup in the future.
  • As China has the potential for mass commercialisation of the game, it is necessary to attract media sponsorship in a huge way, as this will bring in investors interested in promoting the game. This will bring the game to the masses as well bring in funds vital to develop cricket.
  • To allocate grounds with minimum requirements to all major states.
  • To have cricket in the school curriculum and spread it amongst the youth.
  • To have a General Manager for cricket in Shanghai and employ a professional for coaching of coaches.
FINDINGS
  • Cricket was first played in China in 1858.  
  • There is an existing Cricket Association of China, for which Mr. Lu Zhihua is the Duty Chief.
  • All official sports come under the Sports Ministry and cricket comes under the Small Balls Association which has other sports like table tennis, squash, tennis & golf etc.
  • After the effectiveness of TV coverage around the world for cricket, China became interested in the game from 1996 as this was the year they saw a lot of Asian countries benefiting and doing well at this game. This observation was endorsed by Mr. Lu.
  • Shanghai Cricket Sixes acts as the main tournament in promoting the game in Shanghai and the rest of China .
  • Cricket is still being played among the expatriates, mainly British, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Indians and Pakistanis in the two main cities of Shanghai and Beijing . 
Mr. Scott Brown who is the President of the Shanghai Rugby Football and Cricket Club was instrumental in arranging the meeting between the ACC and the Chinese Cricket Association (Mr. Lu Zhihua ).  The capacity and the enthusiasm Mr. Scott Brown has for cricket needs to be mentioned and should be made use of to promote the game in China .

MEETINGS
 
Since Mr. Danny Lai who is the General Manager of Hong Kong Cricket Association was invited by the ACC to be the Coordinating Interpreter since he knew good Mandarin, we went to the ground on the 14th of September to meet up and discuss matters with Mr. Lu Zhihua .
 
Since the matches were in progress at the ground, Mr. Ashraful Huq decided to go for a luncheon meeting where the following were discussed:
 
  • Mr. Huq stated that the emergence of Chinese sports and the physical strength and balance of the Chinese people can certainly help in enhancing the skills of cricket and it wouldn't be a surprise if China does well sooner rather than later.
  • To hasten the process of China 's membership of ACC and ICC.
  • To invite Mr. Lu along with the Sports Minister of China for the Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes which will be held on the 1st and 2nd of November 2003.
  • To send a coach to China to promote cricket awareness programmes in schools in the main cities like Shanghai ,Beijing and Guangzhou .
  • Discussed having a shortened form of the game such as the Twenty-Twenty Tournament which has been newly adopted in England . Mr. Ashraful Huq suggested  a25-over game instead as 20 overs was too short a period.
  • Mr. Lu showed interest in seeing the Hong Kong Sixes at the invitation of Mr. Ashraful Huq.  Mr. Huq stated that he will coordinate with Hong Kong and arrange invitations and protocol for Mr. Lu and the Sports Minister of China, Mr. Yuan Weimin .
  • Mr. Lu said it will take 2 months to have the relevant documents in order to achieve ACC and ICC membership
CONCLUSION
 
Mr. Danny Lai, the General Manager of Hong Kong Cricket Association was very efficient in his dealings with Mr. Lu. The meetings went off exceptionally well due to his command of Mandarin, and his presence is highly recommended for meetings such as these.    We the ACC take this opportunity once again to thank Mr. Scott Brown and his team in his efforts to promote the game of cricket in China , even though this is not their priority and profession. We would also like to thank Mr. Lu Zhihua for his positive response to our initiative, and for taking time off to visit us in Shanghai .

RUMESH RATNAYAKE
ACC CRICKET DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
     
   
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