The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) sent two delegates to Taiwan over the weekend to assess the Chinese Taipei Cricket Association’s (CTCA) bid for affiliate membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
ACC official Bandula Warnapura chaired a meeting between Taiwan’s cricket clubs, the CTCA and the ACC on Sunday afternoon to make clear the progress that must be made in order for Taiwan to become established in the international “cricket family.”
“Taiwan has to meet the ICC affiliate criteria, but the more difficult part will be maintaining those standards,” the former Sri Lanka Test captain said.
Warnapura went through the ICC affiliation criteria, starting with the requirements for player numbers. From the nine clubs nationwide, a national team should be formed and there also needs to be evidence of women’s and junior teams forthcoming, he said.
Warnapura also questioned CTCA president Chen Tai-shang on the status of the office, employees and board of the organization.
If the CTCA can maintain its ACC affiliate membership, the ACC could begin funding the game in Taiwan through revenues generated by Asian Cup competitions. The cash would be earmarked for infrastructure projects within Taiwan — cricket grounds, training facilities and the like, Warnapura said.
Accompanying Warnapura were ACC official Aminul Islam, on his second visit to Taiwan after visiting in August, and Danny Lai, formerly of Hong Kong Cricket.
Islam spoke of the need for honesty and transparency in the functioning of the governing body.
“You have the people here who can do the work, but the work must be done with cricket at the center,” he said.
Only three of Taiwan’s nine clubs were represented at the meeting on Sunday — Formosa Cricket Club chairman Prem Purswaney, Badshaws Cricket Club chairman Ali Chang and Swingers Cricket Club captain Muthu Raam.
Later, the delegations visited Chung Jung Christian University to watch the school’s women’s cricket team play an exhibition match. The game was short, but the action belied the short period of time the players have been learning the sport.
Coaches Thomas Rayen and Suresh Rangapillai said the players have some problems caused by playing softball.
“Their feet don’t move enough to hit the cricket ball effectively,” Rangapillai said.
However, some quick advice to Wang Jia-yi saw instant and dramatic results.
Chasing 13 from the last over of the match, the left-handed Wang was instructed to try hitting into the leg side. She saw her side to victory by smashing a four and a six, hitting across the line in emphatic fashion against Zhen Miao-jun.
Earlier Ma Yi-ru, using a slingy action reminiscent of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, bowled straight, quick and very economically. Her two overs went for just the one run and she also picked up a wicket.
Rayen issued a challenge to Taiwan’s other women’s team, the Darling Devils, saying his team could easily beat the mixed expat and Taiwanese side.
“These girls can take on any team in Taiwan,” Rayen said. “Consider it an open challenge.”
Earlier, the delegations had visited Taichung’s Asia University (亞洲大學) where professor Gene Sheu has adopted his many Indian students’ enthusiasm for cricket.
“The enthusiasm with which my students play is so great,” Sheu said. “Perhaps we could see Asia University taking on the likes of Chiao Tung University in the not too distant future.”