Pakistan's Miandad to visit China
by AFP

Player:Javed Miandad

DateLine: 13th February 2009


Former Pakistan great Javed Miandad will next month tour China as a cricket ambassador to promote the emerging game in the sports-mad Asian giant.


"As part of Pakistan's support plan to promote the game of cricket in China, we have decided to send Miandad to China so that he can explore ways to help lift the game in that country," said a sports ministry official, Ashraf Khan.


President Asif Ali Zardari, who is patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), appointed Miandad as cricket ambassador to China in December.


Miandad, 51, will tour China from March 9 to 15.


"I have high hopes of China competing at a top level very soon because the feedback I have is that they have potential and can excel in the field of cricket, like they did in other sports," Miandad told reporters.


Pakistan has previously provided assistance to China, such as training and coaching facilities, to prepare its national cricket team.


Former Pakistan player Rashid Khan is China's national cricket coach and guided their female team to the semi-final of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) women's tournament in Malaysia last year.


An affiliate member of the ACC and the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2004, China won the ICC global development award for the region in 2005.


The Chinese government has made efforts to make cricket a mandatory sport and plans to make China a top-tier team by 2020.


The country is ready to embrace Twenty20 cricket as one of five new sports it will debut at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.


Miandad said he will first assess the facilities.


"I would like to see what infrastructure is there and then make a plan to help them progress," said Miandad, who played 124 Tests for Pakistan.


Miandad last week resigned as PCB director general, protesting over the limited scope of his contract.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)