Cricket in China on the rise
Chinese cricketers prepare for batting parctice. (AFP)
Hong Kong - China are to appear at the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes in November as they plot their rise to international prominence, organisers of the annual tournament announced on Wednesday.
The mainland's Asian Games squad will play an exhibition match against a Hong Kong development team, to be screened live and broadcast worldwide.
"We are really excited at the opportunity of appearing at the Hong Kong Sixes," said China's Pakistani coach Rashid Khan.
"This will be a huge experience for the guys and one which should help them as they prepare for the Asian Games in November."
Khan, who has been at the helm of developing the mainland's team for the past two years, said he was hopeful that China would one day be able to take full part in the Hong Kong Sixes.
Australia, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong vie for total prize money of $150 000 in the November 6-7 contest at Kowloon Cricket Club.
Dinesh Tandon, Hong Kong Cricket Association's chairman, said it was the first step in integrating China into the tournament.
"I believe the day is not too far away when China will play at the Hong Kong Sixes. This is just the first step and we want to give them a flavour of playing in an international tournament," Tandon said.
Cricket is just starting to take root in the fast-developing country but Khan has said the biggest obstacle facing China is the lack of opportunities to play foreign opposition.
"This visit will not only give us much-needed opposition but the players can also learn from watching the international stars in action," Khan added.