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Kapil Dev to promote cricket in China

August 29, 2007 19:21 IST

Former India captain Kapil Dev will visit China this week to promote cricket in the most populous country of the world.

Kapil, who was recently sacked by BCCI from the National Cricket Academy chairman's post after aligning with the rebel Indian Cricket League, will visit China's gleaming eastern metropolis and business hub Shanghai during the weekend.

He has been invited to China by the Shanghai-based Indian Association.

"It is a good opportunity to meet and watch Kapil Dev," General Secretary of the Indian Association Mayank Purwar told PTI.

Kapil, also an amateur golfer, will have a golfing session in Shanghai on August 31.

He will conduct 'Kapil Dev Kids' Clinic' on September 1 for children above the age of eight and will participate in a gala dinner.

The next day he will take part in Competitive Invitational Cricket Tournament which will be open for the Chinese public. Eight local cricket teams will participate in the six-a-side tournament.

Purwar said Kapil's visit will give the Indian Association a great boost.

The objective of the event is to inspire every Indian in China to be part of the tournament to make it a great success, he added.

Kapil's visit to Shanghai comes at a time when China is making all efforts to promote cricket.

Earlier this week, Asian Cricket Council chief executive Syed Ashraful Huq had said that efforts to promote the game in China would become fruitful.

"We have made big investment including money and technical support in developing cricket in China.

"I am confident the investment will get paid. It is not a bad investment. It is not like going to the stock exchange and buying shares. It is a safe investment," Huq said.

"In about two years time, they will come up to a level of, say, if not India, Pakistan, maybe other countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

"And by 2010, who knows (what will happen for China's cricket). In three years, they might do something amazing," Huq added.

Huq believes China will play a pivotal role in making cricket a truly global sport.

"We have trained hundreds of local coaches here. We have more than 100 countries playing in the world, but China makes a big difference," he said.

The Chinese Cricket Association (CCA), which joined the ACC after the former was established in 2004, has been developing the sport in the country by forming a foundation of professionally trained players, coaches and umpires.

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