The Mongolia Women’s team were in tears after being bowled out for 15 runs in a thrashing by Indonesia on the opening day of action at the Asian Games on Tuesday.
The Games in the Chinese city of Hangzhou officially open on Saturday but sports including cricket, volleyball, beach volleyball and football begin before that.
Mongolia’s women were making their debut at an international tournament and were given a harsh lesson as Indonesia made 187-4 in the T20 preliminary-round match.
Indonesia’s total included 49 extras, 38 of them wides by the Mongolian bowlers.
In reply, an outclassed Mongolia were out for 15 in 10 overs.
Mongolia’s coach David Talalla said he was proud of his young team – their average age is just 19 – given their very limited resources and experience of the sport.
More than half of his players had never even left Mongolia before and this was their first experience of a grass wicket, having been used to an artificial pitch at home.
Mongolia’s kit is second-hand from Australia, and their four bats donated by a French ambassador whose wife is English and a cricket fan, said Talalla, who is working for free.
“I know we’ve only made 15 runs but none of our girls have played the game for longer than two years and we know what a technical game it is,” said Talalla.
“We’ve only got a squad of 12 – that’s all we could afford to bring,” added Talalla, saying all of his players were in tears afterwards.
“The whole idea is the longer picture – cricket in Mongolia, who would have thought it?” he said.
“Even myself, I’ve only been in the job here for five weeks as a high-performance coach but six months ago, I didn’t even know they played cricket in Mongolia.
“I think most of the world didn’t.”
© Agence France-Presse