China cricket on five-year learning curve, says coach

GUANGZHOU, November 21, 2010 (AFP) – China coach and former Pakistan international Rashid Khan believes his team will be a powerful force within five years despite a crushing Asian Games defeat to Malaysia on Sunday.

In the first ever men’s match played in Chinese soil, Malaysia were too strong for the host nation, racking up a daunting 162-8 in their 20 overs, which proved too much for the Chinese, who could muster just 73 in reply.

But Khan remained upbeat despite an 89-run defeat.

“We were good. Malaysia are an experienced team and we are still new. We hadn’t practised on this pitch before,” he said.

“Their spinners were difficult to play but we didn’t have any pressure. We are learning and we will get better in five years.”

Khan, who began coaching in China in 2006 as part of an initiative by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), said before the tournament that Chinese players learnt quickly, worked hard and were fit.

But although they took to fielding and bowling easily, their batting needed a lot of practice.

Captain Wang Lei backed up those comments on Sunday, saying: “We have just trained for two years and I think that we should improve our batting. We have learnt a lot from the