Playing the Noble game (Cricket) in China

July, 7, 2021

The Silk Road Journal - by Mahika Ming

Sri Lankans are talking much about cricket, cricketers and related activities these days. It got intensified after a short video recorded in England started its rounds in the social media. There are those who say that Chinese and the Japanese don’t play cricket since no one is certain which player comes out to bat as they all look alike. Long time ago a “Cricket battle” in China was a battle among two bugs similar to Cock fighting. However, in the Peoples Republic of China cricket sport is being played and it’s quite popular. In Chinese language Cricket is known as “shen shi yun dong” (meaning the Noble Game). The Chinese cricketers have won a few notable recognitions in the past decade as below;

2010 Fourth, Asian Games Women's T20
2011 Finalists, ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship
2012 Qualifiers, ACC Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup
2013 Finalists, ACC Women’s Championship
2013 Third, ACC U-19 Challenge Cup
Spirit of Cricket Award ACC U-19 Challenge Cup
2014 Second, ACC Women’s Premier

The Chinese national cricket team visited Sri Lanka in 2006. They have a men’s team and a women’s team (at national level) and has fifty two recognized regional teams. China has developed eight dedicated cricket arenas. Their playing season is from April to October and has related professional personnel including 148 Coaches of level I and II and 96 Umpires of level I and II (Ref. Chinese cricket statistics).

Some Sri Lankans are worried about the Chinese colonizing us (which they have never done in the history). Some are worried if the Chinese will run away with the colonial buildings at the Colombo fort whilst others are worried about Chinese farmers supplying food to Sri Lankans at a lower cost than Sri Lankan farmers. May be they are not bothered about consumer rights.

China has progressed fast with regard to playing Cricket. They are disciplined and focused. Many cricket analysts from Pakistan and even India are expecting China to play a key role in the Cricketing arena in the years to come. Sri Lankan team managers might invite Chinese players to coach us or play for us as they would deliver what is promised. Cricket to this date cannot actually be called an international game as it is not popular in the USA, China and many other South American, Asian and African nations. Chinese cricketers will most probably contribute to make cricket more international than now. One of the powers which occupied China is Britain (other than Germany, France, Russia, and Portugal who also occupied large geographical areas in China, larger than Sri Lanka) as early as in 1910. It is not clear why the British didn’t push the Chinese to play Cricket. May be they sensed that the Chinese are focused and hard working and would definitely beat them even in Cricket if they were trained. We are fortunate we learned it from the British. May be they weren’t worried as well.