China key to cricket's growth
Updated: 2010-11-19 13:09
Cricket cannot be regarded as a global sport if China doesn't embrace the game, said the chief of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
"China's debut at the (Asiad) means a lot to us. Without its involvement, cricket simply cannot be classified as an international sport," Syed Ashraful Huq, chief executive of the ACC, told China Daily on Thursday.
Huq said the Chinese women's cricket team advancing to the quarterfinals in its first international appearance was hugely important to his organization.
"China's cricket is on the right track now and our hard work has paid off," he said.
Huq can now sit back and enjoy the event's first cricket tournament after his mission to save the sport from the axe at the next Asian Games in Incheon, the Republic of Korea, was accomplished.
The Asian Olympic Committee decided to cut non-Olympic sports from 14 to seven after the Guangzhou Asian Games.
Huq was disappointed that cricket was omitted from the list of events proposed for the Incheon Games due to the host's concerns about costs.
"What they don't understand is that cricket could add value to the Asian Games commercially. As the No 1 sport in many countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and non-Asian countries including England and Australia, the organizers could have made a fortune simply by selling broadcasting rights," Huq said. "The sport could add 20 to 25 percent financial value to the Games."
He also said cricket at the Asian Games needs to become internationally recognized and that joining the Olympics would be the icing on the cake.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.
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