Why China Had No Cricket Team in The Past? This intriguing question has puzzled sports enthusiasts and cricket fans around the world. With its massive population, rich cultural heritage, and global prominence, one would expect China to be a formidable force in the cricketing world. However, despite cricket’s widespread popularity in neighboring Asian countries, China’s presence in the sport remains conspicuously absent. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at why cricket isn’t as popular in China despite the country’s large size. We’ll examine the historical, cultural, and governmental factors that affect this. It’s an interesting topic, so let’s dive in!
Why China Had No Cricket Team in the Past?
Short Answer: China did not have a cricket team in the past due to historical, cultural, and governmental factors. Now cricket matches are currently being played in various cities throughout China. Let’s take a look at some important factors that come into mind when it comes to China’s cricket team.
Cricket’s journey to China was a relatively late one compared to its establishment in other parts of Asia. During the 18th century, British influence brought cricket to Chinese ports, but it did not permeate the local culture as significantly as it did in countries like India or Pakistan. Unlike these countries where cricket became deeply rooted in tradition and popular culture, China’s exposure to the sport remained limited due to its lack of historical significance.
China’s rich cultural heritage has given rise to various traditional sports like table tennis, badminton, martial arts, and others that are more popular among the population. These sports often resonate better with the Chinese populace than cricket’s slower, more strategic gameplay. Cricket’s complex rules and slower tempo do not align as well with the preferences of the Chinese audience, making it less appealing on a cultural level.
In countries where cricket thrives, strong governmental backing has played a crucial role in its development and popularity. However, the Chinese government has historically focused on other sports considered more important for national pride, identity, and international success. Sports like basketball, football (soccer), and table tennis have been prioritized, receiving more attention, funding, and resources. As a result, cricket has not received the same level of support and investment, further hindering its growth and establishment as a national sport.
Is Cricket Played in China?
Yes, cricket is now played in China, but it has not gained widespread popularity at the national level. While cricket has not reached the same level of prominence as it has in other cricket-loving nations, there are pockets of interest and participation in cricket within the country. Various international leagues and tournaments have also expanded their presence in China, attracting global stars and audiences, which indicates a growing interest in the sport. However, cricket’s presence in China is still relatively limited compared to other popular sports in the country.
Did you know that on July 26, 2023, China played its first T20I match against Malaysia in the 2023 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier? It was an exciting moment for both teams!
Unfortunately, the China cricket team lost the match. They were only able to make 23 runs in 11.2 overs, while the Malaysia cricket team completed the target in just 4.5 overs, losing only two wickets.
During this tournament on July 31, 2023, China achieved their first-ever victory in T20Is by defeating Myanmar in their final match. During the match, Myanmar scored 77 runs while losing eight (8) wickets. China successfully achieved this target in just 17.2 overs while losing only five (5) wickets.
Here is the points table for the China T20 matches that China recently played with different countries.
30 July 2023
26 July 2023
31 July 2023
27 July 2023
How Many Countries Play Cricket?
It’s truly incredible to learn that cricket is played in 105 countries globally, & out of 105, 12 are full members of the International Council (ICC) & remaining 92 are associate members. However, the most popular cricket teams are below:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies