Cricket For Japan

Japan. Asian superpowers. Global economy. And primarily a baseball- and football-playing nation. It is the land where culture meets development, heritage meets progress. As hardworking as they are, they have risen from ashes in the aftermath of the Second World War to become the Asian giants of today. With such a fighting spirit, they are sure to embrace cricket, particularly if it is properly endorsed.
Cricket has a long history in Japan. The game was first played there in 1863. The Yokohama Cricket Club played regularly in the days gone by. Now known as the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club, it still plays cricket matches (probably on a bouncy track).
Unlike baseball, which had a widespread growth, cricket could not spread is wings to the fullest. The Japan Cricket Association based in the ‘cricket’ city of Sano in the Tochigi Prefecture of Japan, is now doing a wonderful job trying to spread to its citizens the delight of our beautiful game. Captained by Seiji Sugiura, the Japanese national team is competing professionally against other teams.
So what can the ICC and other boards (the big three specially) do? Helping them get exposure, most would answer. The Hong Kong Cricket Association regularly sends touring teams to play in Japan. Also Japan plays in the regional tournaments, most noticeably, the East Asia Pacific T20 trophy, which should have a wider participating base
Other than that the various boards like BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and CA (Cricket Australia) may call the Japanese national team for tours in their countries (maybe matches against Board President’s XI B or against India C). This can only help. Remember the Japanese upset against South Africa in the Rugby World Cup 2015 (yes, 34-32)? We may see some of these upsets if necessary measures are taken. Also if we have an economic superpower like Japan playing cricket, then we can endorse the game more easily and get more sponsors for our wonderful game.
So, a little more effort will surely help us not only to get more competition in the international cricket circuit, but also to achieve the status of global game. In conclusion, I sincerely hope we can someday see the Japanese warriors competing in the prestigious World Cup.

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