Local cricket groups bicker, but share goals

By Grant Dexter and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporters

Thu, Dec 26, 2013 - Page 19

Following an incident in which the Chinese Taipei Cricket Sports Association (CTCSA) used a photograph of a Taipei Cricket Federation (TCF) event during a presentation to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) with a caption suggesting that it was the organizer, CTCSA president Chen Tai-sheng elaborated his association’s activities.

“The CTSCA organizes 10 tournaments a year and all the expenses are paid either by me or by sponsors,” he said.

Chen said his association receives no funding from the government nor from the Taiwan Olympic Committee. The committee did not comment on its relationship with the Chinese Taipei organization.

There seem to be no reports or scorecards on the CTCSA Web site by which any matches could be verified, but there are a small number of photos under an “Events” link that show Taipei clubs playing in the capital and in Chiayi City. However, no meaningful descriptions accompany the pictures.

All the results for the event photographed by the association, the Taipei Cricket Federation’s CKS Tournament, are available at www.crichq.com/competitions/2376.

When asked about the ACC meeting in Thailand, Chen said he was proud that the CTCSA had attended and delivered a presentation on Taiwanese cricket’s development.

However, TCF president Vincent Wang said the use of the picture at the meeting was a misrepresentation because the CKS Tournament was not organized by the CTCSA, and so the photo could have led the Asian Cricket Council to mistakenly believe that the event was the association’s work.

Wang said he has contacted the CTCSA to clarify this and asked them to take the photo down from their Web site.

“The CTCSA needs to be more careful in the future, so this kind of thing does not happen again,” he said.

Turning away from the photo incident and to his association’s work, Chen said: “There are a total of 26 cricket teams registered with the CTCSA,” mostly school teams from grade schools, high schools and universities.

The CTCSA did not say exactly how many players it had registered, but said there were about 15 players in each cricket team and more take part in practice matches.

When asked about established cricket clubs, he said he does not deal with them nor with foreign teams.

Wang said that most “foreign cricketers” in Taiwan have a “difference of opinion” and a negative impression of the association, which has lead to problems in the past.

“The foreign cricketers and the CTCSA are like fire and water — they do not mix,” he said.

Chen said the association’s primary goal is to help establish 100 amateur cricket teams throughout the nation.

“Our organization is primarily to help Taiwanese develop cricket and promote it as an international competition for Chinese Taipei representative teams,” he said.

He said he only has two requirements for joining a team: “No player may be involved in gambling and they must behave like gentlemen, because cricket is a gentlemen’s game.”

The second goal is to send a national team to compete in the Asian Games in September and October next year in Icheon, South Korea.

There are also numerous tournaments put on each year by the ACC that Chen said Taiwan could send teams to.

The ACC’s Web site lists “Chinese Taipei” as a member since last year and indicates that the association has not yet received membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which oversees the ACC.

Chen said that to gain recognition from the international body, his association was in discussions with a local cricket group in China, which said it would endorse a membership bid under the designation “China, Taiwan region.”

Gaining ICC membership would make the CTCSA eligible to receive US$300,000 in funding, he added.

Like its counterpart, the Taipei Cricket Federation also aims to promote cricket to schools, colleges and social groups, efforts which saw 14 teams compete at the first of its events, the CKS Tournament.

Three of the teams were from Wuliao Elementary School in New Taipei City, one was made up of similarly aged children from elsewhere, two were from social groups and another came from Shih Hu Junior High School in Yunlin County.

Two universities, National Taiwan University in Taipei and Chang Jung Christian University in Greater Tainan, sent squads too and there were four club sides made up mostly of foreign players.

The federation’s report of the event said it went ahead — even though there are no cricket grounds in Taipei. It thanked the teams, their supporters and their families.

It also thanked the Taipei City Government for providing financial support and Holocene, a Tamsui, New Taipei City-based cricket equipment supplier, for sponsoring the event.

Wang said filing a request with the Taipei Sports Office can facilitate NT$80,000 in funding, adding that corporate sponsorship will probably be needed to maintain a cricket ground, which may prove more difficult.

Wang said the federation hopes to organize a youth cricket tournament next year and has submitted proposals to the Taipei City Government to get funding for competitions at other levels as well.

He added that although his federation was separate from the Chinese Taipei association, the two bodies are able to cooperate, and share human and financial resources.