Vol. VI No. 2 - Tuesday March 6, - March 12, 2007
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SPORTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiangmai Cricket Sixes - 20 Years of Fun

What crisis?

Chiang Mai Pool League

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Chiangmai Cricket Sixes - 20 Years of Fun

Michael McCune
The 20th annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will start on April 1, 2007 at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds, and it will be the largest Chiang Mai Sixes ever, with more teams and more matches and more fun than ever before.

Bowling action at last year’s sixes.

For one week, 33 teams from countries around the world will meet to play cricket and enjoy the warm welcome that Chiang Mai provides to its visitors. The sounds of willow bats striking leather cricket balls, the cries of “Howzat!”, and the pleasure of a cold drink in the warm April sun will be enjoyed by everyone who attends.
For those who are not familiar with the lively and action-filled Sixes version of cricket, it is a fast, much-shortened form of the one day game, and the short format produces an intensity of play that even first-time viewers can enjoy. Each team fields six players, and the batsmen face a total of but 30 balls (five overs of six balls each). Run totals have exceeded 120 runs from five overs, which is prodigious batting! Of course, with the entire fielding side being only six players, there is a lot of open field to hit into, but that is all part of the excitement as the two teams struggle for dominance.

Each day’s cricket will commence at 8.30 a.m. and up to 14 matches are scheduled each day before drawing of stumps around 5.30 p.m. The fact that up to 14 games will be played per day gives you an idea of how fast and furious the action will be. While cricket is the main theme and topic, fun and socializing are also high on the agenda.
So far, team entrants are from thirteen different countries for this year’s tournament, including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, England, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, and Wales. And then there is the one team billing itself as coming from “the rest of the world”. The week also includes matches by two women’s cricket teams and an “Old Crocks” game. A number of notable players with international experience are usually on hand and playing with some of the teams, so who knows what cricket star you might see?
In 2006-2007, a number of improvements were made at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds. First, a set of turf wickets were installed, and new drainage put it to help with the maintenance of the grounds. These turf wickets enabled the first-ever international cricket matches to be played at the Gymkhana Club in December 2006. Next, an entirely new scoreboard was installed with quite large numbers that can easily be viewed from anywhere on the grounds. Last, an enclosed area has been created to host the equipment and people who will be supporting the Sixes.

Batting on the front foot - prodigious scoring, but perhaps more importantly, plenty of fun for all.

Once again this year, every day of the Chiang Mai sixes will be broadcast in both audio and video formats. Full details of the broadcasts and other details of the tournament can be found on the Sixes website at www.chiangmaisixes.com
In order to encourage the development of cricket in Thailand, a simplified version of cricket was introduced to Chiangmai schools some years ago. It is called “Sawadee Cricket” and the juniors will have their own tournament, competing for the Sixes Sawadee Cricket Cup, from the 4th - 6th April. They will be playing on a field adjacent to the adult pitch and it is marvelous how these young Thais have taken to playing cricket! Some of the first players from Chiang Mai have now graduated to playing the hard ball game and are now representing Thailand in junior international matches.
So now is the time to dust off that old cricket cap and blazer and get along to the Chiangmai International Cricket Sixes. Lots of action-packed cricket, lots of fun and a major measure of friendly socializing!
The Chiengmai Gymkhana Club is situated on the old Chiangmai Lamphun Road just north of Nong Hoy Market (before the Sheraton Hotel) and is an easy tuk-tuk or songthaew ride from any part of Chiang Mai. Admission to the beautiful, spacious grounds of the Gymkhana Club is free and there is ample, shaded seating for cricket spectators. As always, there will a wide variety of foods on sale, plus cold beer and other beverages will be available from the “Boundary Bar” which is located right in the heart of the action. The Sixes is sure to be a fun-filled seven days and a big crowd puller for residents of Chiang Mai and visitors to our northern city.
To get there: Gymkhana Club, Raj Uthit Rd, trisection on Lamphun Rd., Tel 053-241 035.


What crisis?

Sandy Lie
The Royal League in crisis? “Nothing could be further from the truth,” insists Jon Haid after reading Sandy Lie’s column in last week’s Mail. He added, “Membership is at an all time high and things are running very smoothly.” Grahame Curry agrees, and had this to say “I would hate to think that newcomers to golf in Chiang Mai would be put off joining our competitions as a result of [Sandy Lie’s] article.”

Steve Belair -
March winner of the “Little Man”

Sandy was also dragged over a bed of nails for describing the fracas between an ex and a current Royal League member as fisticuffs. By all accounts Queensbury Rules were never considered in an attack from behind that left the injured party unable to defend himself and the assailant with a broken hand.
And contrary to Sandy’s suggestion, this ugly incident played no part in Grahame’s decision to quit from League Coordinator, as he’d already announced his intensions last October. Jon Haid took over the position on March 1st and the website will continue as before.
Meanwhile, lady member, Samantha Richdale, recorded a 100% scratch tournament record last Tuesday with her fourth win on the trot - her best score being 77 and worst 83. Described as the best player at the Royal League since Christian Tilden five years ago, Sam left Thailand last week to join the “Futures Tour”, where the top five on the money list earn an LPGA tour card. We all wish her well.
In Tuesday’s competition, Steve Polaski came second - two shots behind Samantha - and Grahame Curry finished third one shot behind Steve.
In Thursday’s “Little Man” competition, Steve Belair took the title with his best ever performance at the Highlands. His front nine of 40 gross, which included 4 pars and a birdie, could have been better had he not found water on the par 3 second. And a steady inward half of 44 was enough to see him home two shots ahead of second placed Thomas van Nes.
Only one shot behind Steve at the turn, Thomas blew up on the first three holes coming in. Poor tee shots caused a double bogey at the 10th and a 7 on the easy 11th, and as the wheels fell off, his drive on the 12th went out of bounds. But credit to the man for pulling himself together and ending the round with a very respectable gross 86.
However, the best gross score of the day came from Icelander, Gunti, with a fine 82 off an eleven handicap. He shared third place with Jim Gross (no pun intended), who carded a net 71 from a gross 95.
When Noel O’Dwyer was asked if the Std’s in Happy Bar Std’s stood for sexually transmitted diseases, he said “no due to the apostrophe,” but declined to add further details. Anyway, membership at the society has increased over the last six months and it now runs three tournaments a week - Mondays and Fridays at Mae Jo and Wednesdays at Highlands - plus the eclectic competition.
In Monday’s Stableford tournament, Dennis Woerner was in fine form - accumulating 41 points to win the day, and Neil Alper took the trophy at the Highlands stroke play competition with a net score of 69.
Twenty two players lined up for battle at Mae Jo last Friday, and it was David Grimble who stole the show with a magnificent round of 72 gross, net 64.
Lastly, best wishes to one of the Happy Bar’s leading players, Jim Cannon, who has traveled to Bangkok for a serious kidney operation. The message from the society is, “see you back on the course soon.”
For more information visit www.theroyalleague.com and Noel on 089 256 5705 for Happy Bar Std’s.


Chiang Mai Pool League: Chiang Mai Pool League

Out Back backs out

Pat Black
Mystery still shrouds the closure of Out Back last Friday week, when four of the pool team turned up for practice and found the shutters firmly pulled down. Since then, varied rumours as to what happened have been spreading like cool margarine on hot toast, but it’s probably safe to say that by now the owner of the place, John Whiting, is somewhere between Chiang Mai and the Cairngorm Mountains. And as the tables and chairs from outside his True Blue Restaurant have disappeared, it seems certain that both his businesses are permanently closed.
Ironically, John was a cofounder of the Chiang Mai Pool League five years ago, and his team will be the first to drop out since his retirement from running it last October. Although the Out Back team has never really sparkled over the years, they enjoyed their best season ever last term by coming 7th in the table, and their pool table was considered to be the best in the league. In happier days, Out Back was chosen as the venue for an historic championship play-off between Half Moon Pub and Rock Hard Bistro, when almost 100 spectators watched the title decided on the last black in the final frame - knocked in along the top rail by Steve of the Moon. Today, the bar is sadly boarded up and totally deserted.
Consequently, Pool League officials have decided to leave Out Back’s results for the first half of the season standing and declare their two matches in the second half null and void. This means that December Bar will be deducted 4 frames, but the less fortunate Enjoy Place will lose 7 frames and one point. Happy Bar was the first team to miss out on playing Out Back last Friday and by the end of the season all sides will have played one match less than first intended.
In the meantime, there were no great shocks from last Friday’s results. Top team Blue Sky Bar narrowly beat bottom boys Em & Em, while close contenders, Half Moon Pub breezed past Rock Hard Bistro 7-2 after being 6-0 up at the interval.
Inter Bar kept their challenge alive with a convincing 6-3 win at Number 1 Pub and Enjoy Place kept their momentum on a high by whopping The Local, 7-2. Oasis has dropped off the pace a little by losing at Heaven’s Beach, who moved 3 rungs up the ladder, and December Bar came into the picture after coasting past Blue Sky Garden away from home.
In the bowels of the League, Chiangers and Bangers will be more than happy with a 5-4 win at The Wall, and also La Villa, who crunched Maggie’s Place at home 6-3 and rose one place in the League.
Lastly, apologies to Ron - last week’s pin up picture - who now plays at Number 1 Pub and not Happy Bar as stated. Put the error down to Pat’s alcoholic haze.



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