One of the world’s biggest amateur cricket tournaments
ended last Saturday in Chiang Mai after one week of exciting competition,
socializing and getting to know Thailand’s second largest city.
The big-hitting Steve ‘Crunch’ Christie was on his 10th tour to Chiang
Mai with his Australian team the Warathais.
A record number of 33 teams from 15 countries took part
in the week-long tournament, which was held at the historic 109-year-old
Chiengmai Gymkhana Club grounds in the heart of Chiang Mai.
At the end of a long week of tough competition the
biggest winners were the many local children who play cricket in Chiang
Mai’s junior league, with all proceeds from the annual Chiang Mai
International Cricket Sixes going towards developing the game locally at the
Former Australian international Trevor Chappell was one of the stars of
this year’s Sixes.
An indication of how successful the local junior cricket
program has been over the many years the tournament has been supporting it
was the inclusion of a team of young local players in the senior competition
for the first time.
A team of young Thai boys aged between 15 and 17 entered
the senior competition and played under the team name of Thai Thevada, and
they surprised everyone by doing very well.
They had a couple of wins and a narrow loss in the
provisional games to determine which of the four groups the various teams
are grouped in, and Thai Thevada made it into the second top group, the
Troy Harvey slams a six for Australian team Yarrambat on the final day of
the Chiang Mai Sixes.
The tournament is divided into four groups according to
the playing levels of the team - some teams are made up of very amateur pub
sides while others include regular first-class players and even former
So being drawn into the Shield group, the second highest
at the tournament, seemed a bit tough on the youngsters at first, but they
soon proved the doubters wrong.
In fact, the Thai Thevada team did so well against teams
of grown men who had played the game all their lives that they made it
through to the semi-final, along the way clocking up some great victories.
Some of the trophies for the winners at this year’s Sixes.
Their dream run came to an end, however, when they faced
the Tokyo Wombats, a team of expats based in Japan, in the Shield
semi-final, but it was a narrow, and heartbreaking, loss.
The Thai boys batted first and made a good total against
some tight bowling from the Wombats, setting the Tokyo boys a good run
But the Wombats dug in and the match went down to the
final ball with the Thais one run in front. As the crowd cheered on the
young Thai bowler as he ran in to deliver the final ball, the Wombat batsman
stepped up the wicket and hit him for two runs and a victory.
The poor Wombat batsman later came and apologized to the
Thai team, saying he felt terrible that he’d bought their great run to an
In typical Thai fashion the boys smiled and told him “mai
While the local boys grabbed a lot of attention, a team
of Englishmen were having a lot more luck than their national team and
quietly making their way through to the finals of the top flight Cup group.
The most exciting match at this year’s Sixes, and one of
the most exciting finishes in Sixes history, was this year’s Cup final.
Bangladesh team the Cricketeers batted first in the Cup
final against English side the Gloucestershire Gipsies and made a subdued
start, taking only 12 off the first over and eight off the second.
Tight bowling and good fielding by the Gipsies held the
normally big-hitting Cricketeers to a modest total of 75 in their innings.
The Gipsies then took the game to the Cricketeers when it
came their turn to bat, smashing sixes and fours and racing to 46 after
The match went down to the wire with the Gipsies needing
10 runs off the last two balls and they hit a four from the second last ball
and then smashed a brilliant six off the final ball for victory. It was the
most exciting finish in the 20 years the Sixes has been held and had the
very vocal crowd on their feet.
The rest of the finals were also top quality cricket, if
not as exciting as the main game.
In the Bromley Shield final, Japan-based team the Tokyo
Wombats batted first against the Irish Pub Gang Green from Thailand and
clocked up 67.
Tokyo Wombat Ian Gason, who suffered a fractured nose
during his team’s earlier match against Thai Thevada, returned to take the
field against the Irish Pub Gang Green and opened the bowling for his side.
However, Gason’s efforts were in vain as the Irish Pub
Gang Green raced to a winning total of 69.
Two Thai expat teams made it into the final of the Bowl
group when the Floggers and Robbers took on the Southerners. The Southerners
batted first and scored the respectable total of 85 runs for the loss of
three wickets, and in reply the Floggers and Robbers stole the match with a
winning score of 86 for one.
There was also an exhibition game on the final day
between an All Star team led by former Australian international Trevor
Chappell and a Rest of the World side led by former Sri Lanka international
Lantra Fernando, and it was one of the best games of the day.
Young Thai player Suranya “Off” Chanai, who has come up
through the local junior league and played with the Thai Thevada side,
joined Chappell’s team and bowled very well, helping restrict the Rest of
the World to 57 runs.
“Off” also played a starring role with the bat and hit
the winning runs for Chappell’s All Star team, with a great six off the
second last ball followed by a quick two runs off the last ball for a
winning total of 58.
The Joe Carpenter Plate final saw two Aussie sides, new
team Yarrambat and regulars the Sugar Shack Postels, battling for honours.
Yarrambat scored 83 in their innings while the Sugar Shack melted with only
There was also a women’s match between local ladies team
and defending champions the Chiang Mai Chassies and visitors the World
Women’s Dixie Bells.
The more experienced Chassies knocked up a big total or
71 for victory, while the visiting ladies only managed 48 in reply in an
entertaining match which featured champagne bottles behind the stumps at
The last of the finals was in the Spoon division and the
Maythais, an offshoot of regular Chiang Mai tourists the Warathais, faced
the IOS Malakas in a low scoring game. The Maythais had a good knock of 52
in their innings, while the Malakas knocked up 54 in reply for victory.
Tournament director Maurice Bromley and other officials
presented the trophies to the various winners at the end of play.
The final party was held on Saturday night at the Central
Duangtawan Hotel where a number of items signed by famous players were
auctioned off with the proceeds going towards developing local junior
cricket, which is going from strength to strength.
The Sixes official sponsors, European Safety Concepts
(ESC) headed by Steve Graham, and the Chiangmai Mail have announced
that next year the Cricketers can continue to count on their support. The
winning team will be able to return next year with an added bonus of
complimentary accommodations while the runners up will enjoy a fun packed
weekend in Pattaya. San Miguel Beer, an additional sponsor, provided cold
brew throughout the event and all were very grateful.
The Gloucestershire Gipsies won the Cup title in the most
exciting finish in Sixes history. They collected their prize at the final
party on Saturday night.
There were some colourful characters at this year’s Sixes,
particularly this team from Bahrain, the Awali Taverners.
The Thai Thevada team with some of their volunteer coaches
and support staff.
To save anyone having a bad hair day, a barber shop was
set up for players at the Gymkhana Club grounds.
Local women’s team the Chiang Mai Chassies defended their
title this year, then found time to celebrate.
Every year each team plus officials are looked after by a “personal
assistant”, a student from a local university who gets the chance to improve