Following the devastating tsunami which struck the north-east coast of Honshu in March 2011, Chris helped found a Japanese charity called Cricket for Smiles. The aim was to promote cricket in the affected regions of the country as a means to enrich lives and help rebuild communities.

The original aim was to introduce 20,000 children in and around Honshu to cricket, and donate 200 sets of equipment. In order to achieve this, the Japan Cricket Association underwent a complete strategic overhaul to incorporate Cricket for Smiles into the ICC’s strategic management plan.

Overall, 50,000 were children involved in introductory programmes, 1000 teachers trained as coaches, 3000 registered as junior players while 5,000 players registered in adult divisions.

As part of the new direction Chris and the ICC established regional associations across Japan. Japan Cricket Association is a non-profit organisation with limited resources, but over five years we saw a 40% revenue growth that was re-invested back into the community.

Another side of Chris’ role was coaching the men’s and women’s national teams, each governed by their own athlete centred strategic plan which every player bought into. The five year cycle became a staircase, with each tournament another step to make it to the top. In the 2011 world tournament in Bangladesh the national Japanese women’s team reached the top of their staircase by defeating ICC full member nation, Zimbabwe. 

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