Feeling the heat of India’s rise as an alternative destination for outsourced manufacturing, China is fighting back by taking a leaf from a book of the late, great British Empire. “That’s just not cricket," you might say, and you’d be wrong. The better interpretation is "that it’s not just cricket".
Despite having no pitches, no equipment and no players (aside from a handful of expats running around a park in Pudong every Sunday), China is taking up cricket, and it has ambitious plans.
The Chinese Cricket Association (CCA) wants to have 20,000 players and 2,000 coaches by 2015. Media reports are even more optimistic, citing ambitions of achieving Test status by 2020 (only 10 countries currently have test status), qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, or ultimately beating India in a Test match.
Perhaps it is this last motivation that is proving the most compelling to the people behind the cricket craze (or is that craziness?). What better way to put its upstart neighbor in its place than by beating it at its own game?