When the 18th Chiang Mai Sixes gets underway this weekend
at the old Gymkhana Club ground in the northern capital, there’ll be a
full complement of 30 teams taking part. An average of eight players per
team brings at least 240 cricketers to Chiang Mai, add many families and
friends and it means the Sixes will kick-off at the max this year.
Australian test player Trevor Chappel (left) is expected to play again this
year with the Moonshine Warathais, while Tony Gough (right) will be back as
the Sixes head umpire.
The tournament has in fact been extended to a full seven
days - from Sunday March 27, through to Saturday April 2 - to cope with the
packed schedule of matches (about 14 games per day). In addition, there is
the junior cricket “6th Sawasdee Cup” involving local Thai schools,
sponsored by the Sixes and takes place on an adjacent field from Tuesday
March 29 - Friday April 1.
As probably the amateur cricket world’s biggest event
of its kind and surely its most popular, the Chiang Mai Sixes continues to
innovate and seek ways to improve the fun and quality of the tournament. To
encourage good play in all competition rounds, a new Man-of-Day award will
be presented to the player adjudged ‘best cricketer’ on each of the
seven days of the tournament.
Also, once again, Chiang Mai may be the only venue in
world cricket where a batsman can score 10 runs off the bat in a single
boundary hit. The challenge is to hit one of four signs placed around the
ground by sponsors Champion, Ferodo and CMW Oriental Collection - the reward
is 10 runs to the team’s score and a cash donation from the sponsor to aid
junior cricket development.
innovation this year is being achieved thanks to an ADSL Broadband
connection being installed at the Sixes Bar and Committee tent - not only
can match reports now be instantly uploaded on the Sixes website, but match
commentaries will be broadcast live around the world via the tournament
website at www.chiangmaisixes.com
With all the activity and fun that’s planned it seems
unlikely Sixes participants and supporters will miss the non-appearance of
Sir Viv Richards (a last minute cancellation). Attempts to get pop star Sir
Mick Jagger also failed this year, but a number of excellent former Sri
Lankan test cricketers, led by Roshan Mahanama and Amal Silva will be back
in Chiang Mai along with pros Trevor Chappell, Kenny Jackson and Paul
The Sixes’ also looks forward to welcoming back Myles
de Vries this year, after a long battle with poor health. Myles is
recognized as the founder of international sixes cricket and was responsible
for bringing it to Chiang Mai.
The 18th Chiang Mai Sixes with its two main sponsors this
year TAT and Coca Cola, will get underway on Sunday morning (March 27) at 9
a.m. when the local Gymkhana Cavaliers (led by Eric Little) take on last
year’s Spoon runners-up Halylt from England in the first match of the day.
Every day at the Chiang Mai Sixes promises lots of
cricket from 13-14 matches per day. Entry is free and spectators are
welcomed in the congenial surroundings of the old Gymkhana Club. There is
shaded seating, a choice of food outlets and the friendly Sixes Boundary Bar
is open for refreshments all day.
Six-a-side cricket is fast paced and ideal for a tournament format (40
minutes per match). The cricket action runs non-stop everyday from Sunday
March 27 to Saturday April 2 starting early, around 8.30 a.m. and continuing
until about 5.30 p.m.