The China Cricket Association Ladies National XI will be coming to Jersey to play the Jersey Ladies Cricket team. The China Ladies team will be visiting the UK and playing the MCC Ladies on 22nd July following which they will play a 40 over per side match on 25th July at Grainville and a T20 match on 26th July at Victoria College.
John Bogie, CCA organiser, said "The Chinese squad of 18 players and officials are hugely excited by this visit to Jersey and we very much appreciate the generous sponsorship from Bedell, Rathbones, British Airways and The Merton Hotel to enable this trip to take place. We look forward to playing on excellent grass pitches against the Jersey Ladies team and forging new sporting friendships".
Chris Minty, Chief Executive Officer of the Jersey Cricket Board, said "We are delighted to welcome the Chinese Ladies National XI to Jersey to play our Ladies National Team. We welcome the opportunity to work with Locate Jersey to promote sporting links with China."
This visit arose from an initial letter from the Chief Minister to the China Cricket Association which led to a meeting being held in Beijing in May between Locate Jersey Director, Wayne Gallichan, and Directors of the Chinese Administrative Centre of General Administration of Sport. Gallichan ascertained that the China Ladies National team were visiting the UK to play the MCC Ladies and suggested that as a way of expanding cultural and sporting links, they should make the short trip to Jersey. The China Cricket Association thought this was a very good idea and in conjunction with the Jersey Cricket Board, Locate Jersey and China Cricket Association moved things forward very quickly and several local sponsors came forward.
It is believed that this is the first time that a representative cricket team from China will have played matches in Jersey and also the first time that a ladies match will take place at Victoria College. The games will provide invaluable match practice for the forthcoming T20 series to be played in Germany later this year.
In China, cricket is referred to as 'shen shi yun dong', 'the noble game'. Since September 2005, the Chinese Cricket Association has conducted coaching and umpiring training courses with the support of the Asian Cricket Council. To date over 200 schools have been involved in these training camps and the game is now played across the country in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dalian, Chongqing, Tianjin and Jinan. China made their international debut in the 2009 ACC Trophy Challenge. While they lost their all of their group games, they did register their first ever international win by defeating Myanmar by 118 runs.
Thereafter China took part in the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup in the United Arab Emirates, losing all their games but gaining more invaluable experience. Once cricket was confirmed as a medal sport for the 2010 Asian Games, the CCA's primary target was the creation of men's and women's teams for the event hosted in Guangzhou, China. The men played established nations like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates and Oman. With the support from the local crowds, China's men and women won many new fans with their spirited on-field performances. Overall, the women currently are ahead of the men in terms of results, having reached the play-offs of the both the 2010 Asian Games and ACC Women's Twenty20 Cup in 2011 and at the 2013 Asian Cricket Council Women's Championships held in Thailand, the Chinese Ladies National team won all 5 group matches before losing to the hosts in a closely fought final.
Both the International Cricket Council and the Asian Cricket Council have prioritized China as a special long-term development project, with funds allocated specifically to assist the CCA in growing the game. The focus remains on the long-term challenge of introducing the game across this massive nation. "Developing cricket in China is a twenty-year project," said ICC Global Development Manager Matthew Kennedy in 2006.