20th Chiang Mai Cricket Sixes begin this weekend
Setting the pitch
by Peter Cummins, Special Correspondent, Chiangmai
In spite of the dire environmental conditions prevailing
in the north and north-east of the Kingdom, the 20th Chiang Mai
International Cricket Sixes competition will, no doubt, be on schedule, from
31 March to the seventh of April. Tournament organizers expect that the pall
of smoke covering the northern city will lift by then, and the record number
of 33 teams coming from the world’s nations of cricket-lovers will have
their usual week of exciting competition, social intercourse, camaraderie
and the odd beer or six between the fast-moving games.
Admission is free, there are many shady areas for
spectators, a well-stocked bar (of course!) and snack areas - so come along
and experience the 20th Chiang Mai Cricket Sixes.
Played, as always, at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket
ground, there will be teams from 13 cricketing nations, including some
“wannabe” cricketers: Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, England, Japan,
Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates,
Vietnam and Wales.
With 14 matches scheduled for the first few days from
8.30 until “stumps” - usually in the failing light around 17.30 - it is
going to be a real feast for cricket lovers. Not only will the action be
relayed in both audio and video formats - this latter re-played at the
cricketers’ bars in Chiang Mai - but also the aficionados will be able to
catch up on the great event being played out in the Caribbean, “My Cricket
World Cup”. And, throughout it all, will be the dulcet tones of perennial
commentator, Ric (Viking) Davis who has only missed two years since the
tournament was established in 1988.
Defending Cup champions from former years will also be
back to contest the five major divisions, the Cup, the Shield, the Bowl, the
Plate and the Spoon.
As usual, there will also be an “old crocks” challenge
but, unfortunately, one of the ‘master old crocks’, Bangkok Post’s Old
Crutch, will be absent this year and it was suggested that Peter Cummins,
definitely the oldest “old Crock”, pad up for the game. But, as he has said
every year, “I will be too busy hiding behind my camera to do anything
strenuous like that.”
The ever-popular Women’s Challenge will again pit the
Chiang Mai Chassies against the World Women Dixie Belles - two formidable
teams who are careful to have lots of liquid refreshments prior to their
game: “One must avoid dehydration,” one of the ladies pointed out last year,
as she downed prodigious quantities of beverage.
Another highlight will be the Eighth Sawasdee Cricket Cup
for Thai juniors, comprising a number of schools affiliated with the
Chiangmai Schools Cricket Alliance. A number of these budding Thai
cricketers, supported by the International Sixes teams, have developed into
Besides the regular supporters of this week-long cricket
fest, ESC (European Security Concepts) and the re-opened Chiangmai Mail
newspaper will be the major sponsors.
The driving force behind the International Cricket Sixes
has been the Bromleys - Maurice and Renita - who have worked hard and
diligently to ensure the success of the event. Maurice, as tournament
director through all these years, has vowed that this will be his
“Swan-song” but, somehow, after knowing him through our long association, I
Actually, prior to last year’s devastating floods which
inundated Chiang Mai and virtually washed away the surface of the grounds of
the now 109-year-old Gymkhana Club, cricket there was facing a dismal future
and, during the 19th tournament, the cricket area, at times, looked like the
But, since then, major improvements have included a set
of turf wickets, new drainage and an up-to-date highly visible electronic
scoreboard, guaranteeing the beautiful ground many more years of great
cricket. Ironically enough, now that the ground is in great shape, we have
to worry about the air above. Let’s hope that the burning off, causing much
contaminated air, will be a thing of the past, come the first of April.
Entry to the event is free and there are many shady areas
for spectators, a well-stocked bar (of course!) and snack areas.
Programmes will be available on arrival and, in the
meantime, if any further information is required, go to the Sixes web-site:
To finish with an immortal cricket phrase: “HOWZAT!”
Happy go walkabout
Happy Bar Std’s completed four days of tournament golf
last week, which included a trip to Chiang Rai province for their Chiang Rai
Cup stroke play competition. The first of this two day event was played over
the Santibury Golf course on Tuesday, where nine players teed off in near
Chiang Rai Cup and Eclectic Champion - Noel O’Dwyer.
At close of play Kieran Savage was leader in the
clubhouse with a net 71 - four strokes ahead of Peter Efremgan and Noel
O’Dwyer - while favourites Don Peterson and David Grimble struggled to get
to grips with their game.
But as Kieran’s game faded towards a disappointing net 84
on day 2 at Waterford Valley, and Peter Efremgan faced a similar fate, Noel
O’Dwyer played from strength to strength to card a second round net score of
68, and become the first winner of the trophy in two consecutive months.
In Happy Bar Std’s Monday stroke play tourney at Mae Jo,
Kari Sirelius swept the field to one side and burnt up the course with a
gross one under par 71, which included 3 birdies and an eagle on the par 5,
13th, where he holed out from 140 yards.
Monday also saw the conclusion of the eclectic placings,
and it was that man again - Noel O’Dwyer - winner ahead of Don Peterson and
Jim Cannon, who missed the last 5 rounds through illness.
However, what comes round comes round and obviously
intoxicated by his recent success, Noel O’Dwyer shot a gross 121 on Friday
at Mae Jo to finish miles behind the first three competitors - Mike Neun,
Ian Fyles and Dennis Woerner.
Les Harvey is known to have trouble getting up early in
the morning, but he must have been glad to make Chiang Mai Golfers’ 8.30
a.m. start at the Lanna course because he went on to take the stroke play
tournament from 14 other competitors with a notable net 69. The Stableford
was won by the ever steady Jeff Birrell with 37 points, one better than Jim
Catterson, who was runner up yet again.
On a close to empty Chiang Mai/Lamphun Golf course, Jack
Cooper took the Chiang Mai Golfers skins event with a net 75 and six skins,
with Nigel Jones and Garry walker coming joint second.
Taking a triple bogey on the first hole can be a
demoralizing experience for the best of us, but in last week’s Royal League
Stableford competition, Hong Kim shrugged off his bad start to go on and
score 40 points in his best ever round at The Highlands. A round of 94
strokes was enough to see him finish first on the day, and with this steady
performance that included 4 pars, Hong shouldn’t be a high handicapper for
Steve Belair also shot a best ever round. His 78 at Royal
Chiang Mai last Wednesday resulted in a handicap reduction, and after
carding one over par on the first four holes last Thursday, the man lived up
to his new status by firing a solid 37 points to secure second spot.
Despite a 7 on the 5th, Grahame Curry made the turn in 42
shots, and with a worthy 40 on the inward half, he accrued 36 points to see
him home in third.
It should also be mentioned that Royal League Scratch
Champion, Steve Polaski knocked the ball 361 yards down the 15th fairway.
What do you put in your driver Steve - Semtex?
For more information contact www.theroyalleague.com, Noel O’Dwyer on 089
256 5705 for Happy Bar Std’s and 081 032 8803 for Garry Walker of Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Pool League: Villa bitten by Bar’s backlash
In a night of few surprises, La Villa’s recent winning
run was ended abruptly at the hands of a Blue Sky Bar backlash. After a
shock defeat at Heaven’s Beach seven days earlier, The Bar maintained their
100% home record and turned the screw on The Pizza Boys by zooming into an
unassailable 5-1 lead by the break.
Tony of December Bar.
With the final score 7-2, The Bar managed to keep their
one point lead over Half Moon Pub at the top of the Chiang Mai Pool League,
but remember - the latter has a far superior frames won advantage.
High flying Moon did little to harm their cause, with a
convincing away win against this season’s whipping boys - Em & Em. The score
line could have been better for the reigning champs, however, after
completing the singles frames 5-1 ahead, but last season’s runners up fought
back to respectability by taking two of the three doubles.
It was a similar story at third placed Inter Bar. Despite
Blue Sky Garden starting off brightly by winning the first frame, the
League’s newcomers hit back with a vengeance to run out 7-2 victors.
The top three sides in the League stretched their lead
over next in line Enjoy Place, who failed to hold up The Wall in the
latter’s recent return to form. Enjoy took the early initiative by leading
1-0 and 2-1 before Brickies - Oz, Lom, Joe, Noume/Nok and Joe/Loui – killed
off their oppo by taking five consecutive frames.
Like The Wall, December Bar kept themselves in with an
outside chance of honours this season, with a well earned triumph at Happy
Bar. December might have squandered a 2-0 lead to end the first half all
square, but they came home strongly with a clean sweep of the doubles.
In other matches, Heaven’s Beach shot two places up the
League ladder after narrowly beating lowly Chiangers & Bangers, 5-4 away
from home, and Maggie’s place stayed in sight of mid table placings with a
comfortable home win against second from bottom, The Local.
And Number 1 Pub inflicted heavy damage with an 8-1
victory over Rock Hard Bistro, who could find themselves rock bottom if
they’re not careful.
In next week’s fixtures December Bar have an intriguing match at home to
Inter Bar, while Half Moon Pub and Blue Sky Bar travel to tricky encounters
at The Wall and Number 1 Pub, respectively. And Enjoy Place will be looking
to get back on track in their home match with Happy Bar.