Canberra, April 11 (IANS) Meg Lanning, the captain of Australia’s three-time World Cup winning female cricket team is set to visit China this week, as part of the Australia Week in China (AWIC) expo.
Lanning will join the Chinese national women’s team for a camp in Shanghai, take part in a cricket clinic for Chinese students and promote the game in schools, reports Xinhua.
China narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2016 Women’s World Twenty20, and Lanning said it would be fantastic to see China qualify next time around.
“I’m looking forward to visiting China and seeing the development of cricket there first-hand,” Lanning said in a statement on Monday.
“We’ve seen how quickly women’s cricket has grown across the world — and in particular Australia — recently so it’s exciting to know the game is growing in China. Hopefully we’ll be facing up to the Chinese women at the 2018 or 2020 World T20, which would be a massive boost for women’s cricket,” she added.
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) global development head Tim Anderson said China was a target market for cricket, particularly in the women’s game.
He said that 80,000 Chinese currently play some form of cricket, with approximately half of those being women.
“China is one of the ICC’s target markets in our vision to become the world’s favorite sport,” Anderson said.
“In particular we see the development of women’s cricket and the engagement of government as two important elements to cricket’s growth in China.
“Meg’s visit is an exciting opportunity for the Chinese women’s team to learn from one of the world’s best cricketers, and the gala function presents us with a great platform to engage with government leaders and show that cricket can play a role in strengthening the relationship between Australia and China,” he added.
Lanning will visit China from April 13-17.