Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Peng Shuai still lives in a remote village in China’s Henan province. While that’s hardly uncommon in the countryside, her circumstances are particularly remote. She is a cricketer, one of the stars of the national side and, according to statistics published by state-run media, she is the national’s most popular player in international cricket. She is also, however, a woman.
Peng Shuai. Credit: Liu Jin
In China, men dominate most areas of professional sport and they tend to win sporting titles. Several women, however, have competed in sports as high profile as the Olympics.
For thousands of years, women have been involved in sport to some degree, and given that some like to enjoy sports more than others, they have taken very different approaches to competing.
But, some critics claim that women are still not achieving the same financial rewards as men.
“Recently sport has opened up to take a bigger role in developing women,” said Yuan Longfeng, professor of sports politics at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “Compared to China, we lag far behind because of our domestic situation.”
Notwithstanding soccer’s predominance in sports competitions around the world, Yuan said China lags behind the United States in terms of competitions hosted by women’s teams and the number of women athletes in the country.