The International Cricket Council (ICC) has grand plans for China and their cricket. It has described China as a "strategic priority", and is working with the China Cricket Association on ways to "achieve sustainable growth in one of the most complex and competitive sports markets in the world". However, the ICC might be forced to work harder for the development of cricket in China. In an ongoing tournament in Bangkok, the Chinese women’s cricket team reached rock bottom with a record low score.
The men’s team, in October 2018, had been bundled out for 26 against Nepal in the World T20 qualifier and Nepal achieved the target in just 11 balls. In the ongoing Thailand Women’s T20 Smash tournament in Bangkok, the women’s team managed about half of the men’s lowest score in what turned out to be an embarrassing loss in their clash against United Arab Emirates.
The UAE women’s cricket team managed to post 203/3 in 20 overs with Esha Rohit Oza scoring 82 and she was given good support by Chaya Mughal with an unbeaten 33. In response, the Chinese women’s team fell over like a pack of cards. Han Lili managed a top score of just 4 and there were seven ducks in their batting line-up as they were bundled out for 14 in just 10 overs. Chaya Mughal ended with figures of 4-2-4-3 while Ishni Mananelage ended with figures of 1-1-0-3 as they lost the game by a staggering 189-run margin. The Chinese team had also bowled 35 extras, which included 18 wides and 15 no balls.
This was not the first time the Chinese women’s cricket team put on such a shoddy display. In their first game against Nepal Women, they had batted out 20 overs but they scored just 48/6. Nepal managed to chase the target in just 9.2 overs without losing a single wicket.
The score of 14 is the lowest score in a Twenty20 game for either the men or women’s category. If cricket has to be made popular in China, then the ICC will have to work really hard, meaning REALLY, REALLY HARD!