China's cricket plans through Hong Kong?

Many might titter over the inclusion of T20 World Cup debutants Papua New Guinea and Namibia. But 18th and 19th respectively on the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) Men’s T20 rankings, they still are way up on the rung when compared to other cricket-playing countries. In the list of 88 ICC countries, the ranking updated on October 10, 2021, the last three happen to be China, Estonia and Turkey. While the last two countries’ teams, predictably, comprise mostly of cricketers of South Asian origin, the Chinese men’s national team is made of home-grown talent. (At No. 26, China‘s women’s national team ranks higher in the 56-country list) Not that points-of-origin matter any more in international sports, but…

The World Cup Asian Western Sub-Regional Group B Qualifier, with China in this group, was to have taken place while everyone would have their eyes glued on the T20 World Cup final on November 14. But because of the Covid pandemic, that first round qualifier was cancelled, with Hong Kong as highest-ranked team (23rd) moving on to meet the winner of the group A qualifier to be played on October 23-29 in Qatar. So, 86th-ranked China won’t qualify for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. But Hong Kong may. And, then, we could – we just could – see a foot in the door for ‘one country’ through ‘two systems’ in world cricket.


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