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24 January 2012

If Chinese play cricket!

Out of the billions of the Chinese only a few thousand knows the game and only a few hundreds who play the game. From the cricketing point of view, it is sad that china was not a British colony in order to be like Pakistan or Australia in the modern game. However, cricket is globalising. The game has spread from Bermuda to Papua new guinea and yet a new country has not gained ICC full states since Bangladesh, while Ireland is more likely to do so in a couple of years. Furthermore, out of the 10 world cups only 5 countries have been able to grab it at least once. Even founding fathers “English” have been unable to do so. Cricket needs to be decentralized and games should not always be between India and Australia. If cricket becomes a major sport in china, things will start to get fascinating.
When the whites, English, invented the game, it was called a gentlemen’s game played gently. When it moved to Australia the game became flame buoyant. West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad etc) made the game a carnival and South Africans added colour. New Zealanders added class. India and Pakistan brought massive numbers of spectators and Sri Lanka added pride. If the game had got stuck in the queen’s country we will only see orthodox Strauss and cooks. But no we see different brands of the game around the world with the likes of flame buoyant Gayle’s from the Caribbean and slinging Malingas from the Asian continent. Imagine a kung fu Foo King Fai from china.
It is encouraging the interest shown by Hong Kong towards the game. One could actually expect them to emerge as a cricket nation with the involvement and the tournaments that they hold. But what cricket is missing is yellow people in white uniforms inside the boundary ropes along with whites, blacks and browns.
If china becomes and emerge as a cricket nation they will add new dimensions to the game. They will invent new tactics and techniques just like Sri Lanka invented pinch hitting in 1996. Will they bring kung fu into the game? How will the pitches behave in china? Will Ian Chappell have more complains about pronouncing names? After all, will Chinese produce fake kookaburra cricket bats and balls? If china makes it to the top level they will not just be like ausies or the Indians, but will create a new era in the game of cricket.