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Cricket diplomacy in Japan to win many hearts

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Cricket diplomacy in Japan

Japan is well known for Baseball and Sumo Wrestling but a small yet very promising step is being taken to promote cricket in the country which is a national passion for most Indians.

As part of @AmritMahotsav and #IndiaJapanat70, the Indian embassy in Tokyo in association with the Men in Blue Cricket Club is organizing Ayushman Bharat Cup, to promote sports & cultural exchanges and people-to-people relationships in the country.

The participating teams would be Kawasaki Knight Riders, Tigers Cricket Club, Men in Blue, and Tokyo Titans. The matches will be played with the pink leather ball at the Sano International Ground on September 19.

The chief guest for the event will be India’s ambassador to Japan, Sanjay Kumar Verma and the distinguished guest would be Padam Shri Ryuko Hira.

Despite cricket not being very popular in Japan, such events are organized in Japan with the aim to give a boost to it.

Cricket in Japan

Based in Tochigi Prefecture, Honshu, Japan Cricket Association (JCA) is a progressive organization that has taken the responsibility to popularise cricket in Japan. Established in 1984 it has been an ICC Member since 1995.

In 1996 Japan made its international debut in the ACC Trophy held in Malaysia. Japan mostly participates in the team matches of regional competitions. Japan has also participated in the World Cricket League (WCL) from 2008 to 2012. It also participates in tournaments such as East Asia Cup which it won in 2018.

This is a minor sport in Japan that was introduced by the British. The first cricket match was played in 1863 in Japan while the first club formed was in 1868, both in Yokohama.

Japan also has a women’s team which made its international debut at the 2003 IWCC Trophy in the Netherlands.

It is estimated that cricket is played by nearly 3000 people in Japan across 200 teams.

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