HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai’s 24th International Cricket Sixes kicks off Sunday, April 3

1st round Northern Motocross/Supercross

San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes

An impressive playing year for TGGA’s Team Elite players

Chiang Mai’s 24th International Cricket Sixes kicks off Sunday, April 3

The 24th Annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes begins on April 3 and sees 32 men’s teams and 3 women’s teams from 13 countries competing.

By Shana Kongmun

The 24th Annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes Tournament begins Sunday, April 3 at the beautiful Chiengmai Gymkhana Club, Thailand’s oldest sports club dating back to 1888. San Miguel Beer are the official tournament sponsors and, as David Walker and Puttivat (Parn) Poshyanondo, Chairman of the Chiang Mai Cricket Foundation and of the Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance, pointed out, their help has been very important not only for the tournament but for the Sawasdee Cricket Program that has taught Thai children, many from very poor schools, how to play cricket. Something at which they have excelled with both the Chiang Mai boys and girls teams winning the championship in the 2011 Under 19’s Thai National Youth Cricket Championships held in January of this year. At the Sixes this year the Juniors will have their own tournament with 12 teams of Grades 5 and 6 competing for the Sawasdee Cricket Cup.

The International Cricket Sixes will have 32 men’s teams and 3 women’s teams from 13 countries competing for the trophy. A number of young local Thai players who learned to pla in the junior program will be playing and one of the men’s teams, the Thai Thevada is an all Tha, all Chiang Mai side. Over the years the Sixes has seen a number of notable professional international players and this year again sees Australian Test star Trevor Chappell in Chiang Mai to play.

David Walker pointed out, “It’s worth mentioning that 2 young girls from Chiang Mai played in the Ladies team at the Asian Games, at the time they were just 14. We’ve been coaching them since they were 9 so it was quite moving to see them so successful.” Additionally 2 Chiang Mai boys played in the South East Asian Games.

“Cricket has been accepted by the Sports Authority of Thailand as a suitable game for children and in the next few years you will really see cricket take off in Thailand,” Mr. Walker added.

The Sixes is a much faster version of cricket and enjoyable even for the first timer. Play begins on Sunday, April 3 at 9:30 a.m. and continues daily until the finals on the 10th. The children’s tournament finals will be held on April 7 and 8. Food and drinks are available at the grounds which are easily found by driving along the old Lamphun road to the historic Chiengmai Gymkhana Club. Admission is free for all.

1st round Northern Motocross/Supercross

The first round of the Northern Motocross/Supercross was held in Doi Saket on March 13.

March 13 was the inaugural race for the Chiang Mai AusEco Race Team held at the Talua track near Doi Saket. The team, consisting of Chaowalit, Theerasak Somsai, Oomam Somsai, Tina and Jason Maloney, Paul, Barry and Oscar Raven had a brilliant day with more than a few toasts to celebrate after the meeting.

AusEco’s rider Chaowalit number 199 rode in the over 30 years class on a KTM 200cc EXC Enduro bike against a gaggle of late model motocross machines. Fifth into the first turn and second at the beginning of lap 3 Chaowalit made passing the younger riders look leisurely with his smooth riding style and masterly jumping prowess over the supercross style triples.

With the leader in sight the AusEco rider hammered the model and had caught him by lap 5. Taking advantage of the nimble KTM 2 stroke's ability to carve a tight line through corners Chaowalit dove under the leader coming into the whoops section blitzing them with authority and riding away to a commanding lead and easy win. His win was even more remarkable given the fact he rode the entire event with a dead flat front tire! (PR Aus Eco Sales)

Chaowalit of AusEco took first place.

San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes

As one festival of cricket played by teams from across the world comes to an end, another will be just starting, from April 3-9 at the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club.

The final of the Cricket World Cup is being held at the historic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 2nd April with one billion Indian fans hoping that their team will repeat its triumph from 1983.

The Cricket World Cup is being broadcast in 180 countries but before many cricket fans will have even woken up, the next day will see another worldwide cricket event begin as the 2011 Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, sponsored by San Miguel, sees its first day of action at the Gymkhana Club, another sporting institution with a long history.

The Cricket World Cup is being staged for the tenth time since the inaugural event was held in England in 1975, the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes is being held for the 24th successive year since the first event was staged in 1988.

The Cricket World Cup has been staged every four years across the cricketing world, but for the Sixes the cricketing world comes to Chiang Mai and keeps coming every year. The 2011 Cricket World Cup will see 49 matches staged in three countries in seven weeks but the 2011 Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will see almost 100 matches played on one ground in seven days.

14 teams play in the Cricket World Cup, with future tournaments being trimmed down, but 32 teams have the chance to play in the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes. The Cricket World Cup is just for men, but in Chiang Mai there is a women’s competition and a junior Sawasdee cricket tournament, where young Thai children take their first steps on to the cricket field.

The Cricket World Cup is often predictable with the minnows being heavily beaten and 50-over matches dragging on, but at the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes there are five trophies to be won at various levels of ability and 5-over matches never drag on.

The Cricket World Cup is a far off dream for cricketers in Thailand, but the Thai Thevadas are always one of the teams to watch out for in the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes. The team is made up of young players who have learnt their cricket in Chiang Mai as the Sixes plays an important part in developing youth cricket.

Bangladesh has never won the Cricket World Cup, but in the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes it is a question of whether any Australian or English teams can bring the domination of Bangladesh to an end. The Bashundhara Cricketeers have won the Sixes Cup for the last two years.

Television coverage of the Cricket World Cup is a big business with six full crews being used across three countries with a multitude of cameras and other technology, but coverage of the Chiang Mai International Sixes is just as compelling if on a slightly smaller scale. Video feeds will be available on the internet in Thailand and across the world.

The Cricket World Cup is organised by a vast team of officials with a large budget to work with. A much smaller team has been hard at work in Chiang Mai in the lead-up to the tournament and there will be many more officials and volunteers arriving for the week’s cricket. Large sums of money have been raised to support junior cricket development in Chiang Mai and to help boys from the local Hill Tribe areas stay at a local hostel. The boys are educated both at school and on the cricket field.

Players will take the Cricket World Cup seriously as the pinnacle of the sport with the mandatory iced baths at the end of a long day. Players take the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes just as seriously but the only place for ice is to keep the San Miguel cool until the end of the day.

So cricket followers of the world don’t despair when the World Cup is over or the IPL is yet to start, the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will provide the perfect answer.


An impressive playing year for TGGA’s Team Elite players

Chayutpol “Smart” Kittirattanpaiboon with his first place
win in the TGA-CAT Junior Golf Ranking at Santiburi Country Club.

Three-Generation Golf Academy’s Team Elite player, Chayutpol “Smart” Kittirattanpaiboon, took home the first place trophy (boy’s B division) in the TGA-CAT Junior Golf Ranking (Northern Thailand) held at the challenging Chiang Rai Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Santiburi Country Club.

Shooting an impressive 76 on the first day awarded Smart the lead advantage on the second day of the tournament. Waking to an injured left hand finger that left him holding the club “like an Englishman sipping a cup of tea” Smart says, along with a bleeding nose on hole number 12 added some unexpected challenges to Smart’s day on this 6853 yard course. Holding it together, but grappling with a string of bogeys on holes 13-17, Smart managed his round well to finish with a par and impressive score of 79.

Smart’s win at this final 6th event of the 2010-11 TGA-CAT Junior Ranking’s qualified him to represent northern Thailand Junior TGA at both the TGA-CAT Junior Golf Championship 2011 (Asia Pacific), 27-30 March at Royal Hill, Nakorn Nayok and the TGA-CAT Junior Golf Championship 2011 (Junior World), 5-8 May at Blue Sapphire, Kanchanaburi. Smart’s entry fee to both events has also been waived for his win.

More good news for TGGA Team Elite on March 5-6 competing at the Thai Junior Guardian Golf Assoc iation’s (TJGGA) Optimist qualifier in Chonburi, both Smart (under 15) and Es (over 15) have qualified for the final match" 2011 Optimist International Junior Golf Championship Qualifying Tournament Thailand" on 4-7 April, Pattana, Chonburi.

Winners of this final qualification will receive an all-expense paid trip to play in the final Optimist International Junior Golf Championships in the USA this summer.