KARACHI: Javed Miandad believes China has the potential to become a major cricket market within the next decade after the former Pakistan Test captain returned from a fact-finding mission to the world's most populous nation.
"The enthusiasm and interest I saw there from government officials to university students is encouraging," Miandad said on Tuesday of last week's visit to Beijing in his newly appointed role as Pakistan's cricket ambassador to China.
"They definitely have potential, the interest and resources to become a respected cricket playing nation."
Miandad, who played 124 Tests and went on to coach Pakistan on three occasions, said China had the potential to become a huge international market and represented an ideal platform from where the International Cricket Council (ICC) could globalise the sport.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and ICC currently provide technical assistance and equipment to China, with both bodies hoping the sport can gain a foothold in the continent's largest country.
China has included cricket as one of the disciplines in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
"The Pakistan government has signed a memorandum of understanding with their Chinese counterparts to help them strengthen their cricket base and produce players," Miandad said.
Miandad will submit a report on his visit and future plans to President Asif Zardari, who is also chief patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).