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Vagrants win all-Surrey final at 21st Chiang Mai ‘Sixes’ tournament


Vagrants win all-Surrey final at 21st Chiang Mai ‘Sixes’ tournament

Biggest and best tournament yet continues to spur the growth of cricket in the Kingdom

The 21st San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes moved into the “big league” this year, when the 2008 competition, held at the 108 year-old Chiengmai Gymkhana Club from March 29 – April 6, broke all previous participation records.

Usually there is a ‘Man of the Tournament’ however this year, 2008, the judges decided to give the award to two people, Terry Exdean and Simon Foxcroft. The team of the tournament was ‘Yarrambat’
Tournament founder and successive director for 17 years Maurice Bromley said at the conclusion of the first day’s play, “The Chiang Mai Sixes have ‘come of age’, with a total of 36 teams, coming from a cross-section of the cricketing world-at-large and four ladies teams competing this year.”
San Miguel Marketing (Thailand) stepped in this year as the principal tournament sponsors, and Querubin G. de Guzman Jr., the San Miguel Commercial Director, expressed his delight at supporting “the second most popular sport in the world”, noting also that, for the first time, cricket will be an official sport at the 2010 Asian Games. Both these items should augur well for the development of cricket in Thailand.
One of the many fun aspects of the Sixes, is the ingenious – or, should that be ingenuous – names of the teams. For example, the Divine Felons, the Floggers and Robbers, the Irish Pub Gang Green, the Shanghai Hot Dogs, the Mighty Spires, the Yorkshire Puddings and the Stuffed Beavers.

The sweet taste of victory? or is that San Miguel beer?
These 36 fancifully named teams played out a round-robin format of matches over the first four days to find out which of them would progress into the various Cup, Shield, Bowl, Plate, and Spoon competitions.
The second day of play witnessed some massive hitting from former Aussie Test star Trevor Chappell and Ravindra Pushpakumara, of the Warathais and the Tokyo Wombats teams, respectively. They both had balls sailing high over the press stand, but fortunately landing on the roof of the cricket “nerve centre”, managed by two of the beautiful cricket-loving wives, Renita Bromley and Norma Gough who looked askance at the flimsy rattan roof. But, it held!
However, despite Chappell’s good run of form with the bat this year, he was unable to prevent his side, the Moonshine Warathais from being eliminated from the premier cup competition after a close defeat to the Bangladesh’s Cricketeers on day four of the event.
The celebrity aspect to this year’s tournament didn’t just start and end with Trevor Chappell’s participation either. Another well-known sportsman cheering on his team the Gipsies was Roger Federer, the world’s No 1 tennis player. Federer, a big cricket fan through his South African-born mother, sent an e-mail to the Sixes website urging on his friends in the Gipsies, and telling them he was watching them live on the official tournament website.
With the round-robin stage completed, it was the English teams in the form of the two Surrey outfits (the Vagrants and the Avos) and Federer’s side, the Gloucestershire Gipsies who appeared to be the strongest on show.
So it was that on finals day the Vagrants took on and overcame another strong team, The Mighty Spires (a combined Australian-English side) in a close fought first semi-final whilst The Avos squeaked past the Gipsies by just 2 runs in the other.
In an all ‘Surrey’ final The Avos, batting first, put up a respectable score of 74-0 with both openers unbeaten, Graham Crawford on 25 and Stuart Tomilson 27. The innings accelerated at the end with 49 coming off the last two overs.
In reply the Vagrants struggled in the initial stages, losing two early wickets, but then Cameron Eve took over, hitting an excellent 30 (retired) ably supported by Steve Naylor (17 n.o.). They eventually grabbed victory with a bye on the last ball.
Thus the Surrey Vagrants were crowned as champions of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes for 2008 and a nail-biting last ball finish was a fitting end to an excellent 21st edition of the tournament at the Gymkhana Club ground.
The Vagrants were presented with the impressive Cup trophy by H. E, the South African Ambassador, Douglas H.M. Gibson.
In the other matches played on finals day The Moonshine Warathais lifted the prestigious Bromley Shield with a good all-round performance against the Lord’s Taverners. Trevor Chappell and Steve Christie got the Warathais off to a good start, putting on 48 for the first wicket before Chappell was run out for 12. Christie followed soon after for 17 but Ian Liddell (12 n.o.) and Warren Pugh (12 n.o.) saw the Warathais reach 79-2.
Facing tight bowling from the Warathais, the Taverners struggled with the run rate and despite a spirited 28 not out from Hashan Tillekaratne, they fell 10 runs short, finishing on.69-0.
In the Bowl final the Silver Stars won a close game against the Tokyo Wombats. The Wombats compiled a challenging total of 82-1. However the Silver Stars scored quickly in reply and overhauled the Wombats score in the final over. Top scoring for the Silver Stars was Amal Silva with 22.
The Joe Carpenter Plate final saw another close finish with the South African side Almar defeating the Drifters on the last ball of the match. The Drifters struggled with the bat, making just 42-2. Almar also found it difficult to make quick runs, but a solid 18 by Ray Blatherwick set the foundations for a narrow win as Terry Eksteen hit the winning runs off the last ball.
The last match of the day was the Spoon final which saw an entertaining battle between the Stuffed Beavers and the Udon Thani Richmond Steakies. Some fine batting from Leigh Whitten (22) and George Hamilton (26) gave the Steakies an impressive score of.76. The Beavers gnawed away bravely but fell short, reaching 61-2 and the title went to the Steakies.
Aside from the men’s competition, there was also a women’s division and several junior divisions being contested on a pitch adjacent to the main ground and the standard of play was very high this year.
One of the biggest upsets in the women’s competition saw a team of teenage Thai girls, the Thai Angels, defeat the experienced women’s team and reigning champions the Chiang Mai Chassies in an earlier round and then overcome the Panthers from Prem School in the final. The Angels bowled particularly well in the final match and took a couple of great catches for a well-deserved victory.
The Thai Angels are all local girls who have learned to play in the Chiang Mai area, where junior cricket is very strong and it is hoped these youngster will get continued support for their fine efforts. A junior girls’ team from Petchabun also took part this year, and did very well.
As usual, the ebullient Chiang Mai Chassies had a big team of lubricated fans cheering them on, and it all added to the wonderful atmosphere prevalent throughout this year’s tournament.
The Sawasdee Cricket Cup for school teams and juniors once again proved to be a huge success. The enthusiasm of the youngsters was great to see and all the participants seemed to enjoy it, win or lose.
The winners of Garde 6 were Chol Prathan Phatek with Prem Center runners-up. Prince Royal’s Collge took third place and Sahagon fourth. The Grade 5 champions were Chul Prathan Phatek with Prem Center runners-up.
There was also a team of young Thai players in the main men’s tournament for the second year running. The Thai Thevada side made it into the Bowl division this year, and many commented on how well they played against the more experienced and older club sides from around the world.
With cricket being included in the sports contested at the 2010 Asian Games, encouraging junior cricket in Thailand is essential and all the proceeds from the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will go towards promoting the game at the junior level in the Kingdom.
The 21st San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, organised by Maurice Bromley, was once again a tremendous success played in an admirable spirit by all teams, both on and off the field. All who took part this year will be counting down the days to April 2009 when the next edition of the world’s most famous cricket sixes tournament gets underway.
NOTE: The report was compiled from contributions by Peter Cummins, Roger Crutchley and Alan Parkhouse.

The Bromley Shield went to the Wara Thais.

The South African Ambassador to Thailand, Douglas Gibson (far right)
presented The Cup to the Surrey Vagrants.

The Silva Stars won the Bowl Competition.

Douglas Gibson (center right) presents the Joe Carpenter Plate to Almar.

The Spoon went to the Udon Thani Richmond Steakies.

The Thai Angels won the Ladies Cup.

Improvisation is the name of the game in ‘sixes’ cricket.

A cracking square cut races away to the boundary.

Cricketing athletes at the Chiang Mai ‘sixes’ come in all shapes and sizes.

A chase in vain – the ball’s already over the rope.

Job well done – it’s off to find the “refreshment” tent.

Each day the judges picked a ‘Man of the Day’.
Pictured here are the winners of each day.

The Chassies’ tent proved to be one of the most popular,
especially with The House Restaurant providing a cocktail bar!