China's noble game ~ Cricket Blog - THE COMMENTARY BOX

Thursday, May 24, 2007

China's noble game

It is very interesting to note that China has a recorded history of cricket dating back to 1858! I was astonished to read an article on the internet that said:

The first recorded match(of cricket in China) was played in 1858 in Shanghai, between a team of officers from the HMS Highflyer and a Shanghai XI.
Photographs also exist showing 19th century cricket matches in other areas, such as the southern city of Chongging.
Now that is surprising. If the Chinese did show an interest in the game back then, they seem to have forgotten all about it somewhere between then and now. As far as I am aware, the two most popular professional sports in China are Basketball and Soccer and most Chinese men and women are not even aware of a game called cricket.

Motivated by this discovery, I decided to some Googling on cricket in China and guess what I found: The Chinese are trying to popularize the game as 'shen shi yun dong' or 'The Noble game' and some chinese youth are taking to the game, in not very huge numbers though, as these pictures accompanying this post indicate.

Now, it is no secret that the ICC is putting in a lot of effort to try and popularize cricket all over the world and gain a wider market(read as revenue) for the game. So far little progress seems to have happened. Ofcourse small and part-time cricket teams were inducted in the 2007 World Cup but they were mere 'formality teams'. And if the ICC does want to gain some rep points for the game in China, which is an immensely huge market, they will have to try and keep that image of cricket as a 'noble game' intact. But going by how they have gone about pimping the game for some ignoble ends through some ignoble means, that image is clearly going to take a beating unless some sense can be driven into administrators of the game.
Help! Keep cricket Noble!

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