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Cricket Sixes: Bashundhara make it four out of four

Bashundhara continues to dominate the Cricket Sixes in Chiang Mai with their fourth win in a row

Richard Lockwood
Bashundhara Cricketeers won their fourth Cup title in succession as the Bangladesh side’s domination of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes is now complete as they have won the main competition in six of the last seven years.

Bashundhara were simply too good for the remaining teams in the tournament as they won every match by substantial margins. In a one-sided final the Bangladeshis restricted Chiang Mai Warriors to 38 for 3 in 5 overs before reaching their target in just two overs without losing a wicket

Even the return of Redland Tigers, a strong team from Brisbane, who are the only side to depose Bashundhara as Cup champions, and the arrival of the Wolfpack, imposing newcomers from Perth, could not prevent another Bangladeshi triumph as these two strong Australian teams had to be content with places in the Cup semi-finals.

Chiang Mai Warriors had been losing finalists in 2014 and Wani had put together a stronger team for 2015 with players from India and Pakistan returning to the Sixes, but they were still no match for Bashundhara.

Local Chiang Mai sides dominated the Shield competition as UN Irish Pub recovered from a slow start to the week to win the second strongest competition as they defeated Kashmir CC by six wickets in the final. The Irish had one of their strongest teams in recent years with Mohammad Javed, a formidable first-class player in his time joining forces with the Lorimer brothers, and the Bromley Shield was some consolation for missing out on the Cup.

The San Miguel Thais had been promoted to the Players’ section of the competition on the basis of their fine performances last year and they won their first two matches to put them within in touching distance of a prized place in the Cup. It was a step too far for the young team as the boys (and girls) missed out on a place in the top six by just two balls but Wheel and Nai both enjoyed their chance to take the field.

Although the SM Thais lost to UN Irish, they beat Clifton Hill to reach the semi-finals and their match against Kashmir CC was one of the best of the tournament, as they were electric in the field as four catches were taken as the Kashmiris continued to hit the ball in the air. Choo took three wickets in an over but a total of 68 for 4 was still a formidable one but after a slow start Bunchuai found his range and hit the last four balls of the innings for four.

Action was quick as the Sixes players took to the pitch.

It was not enough as San Miguel Thais lost by three runs but Jun and Choo both won Player of the Day Awards and the team hit 26 fours and four sixes which brought a donation of 17,000 baht from Floggers & Robbers, always great supporters of the Sixes and of Chiang Mai junior cricket.

Floggers & Robbers had a great week on the field as well as off, as they reached the final of the Plate before being beaten by Hit n Miss, a new team from Australia that revolved around the Barrington family and Trent Barrington won Player of the Finals as he and his brother Tyson saw the side through to victory after Floggers had made 61 for 2.

Standards were high throughout the competition in 2015 as Lord’s Taverners beat Darjeeling in the Bowl Final and Armadillos defeated Tokyo Dingbats in the Spoon Final. The Chiang Mai Chassies and the Dixie Belles competed in a highly enjoyable women's competition with the teams winning one match apiece.

Sanjay Rathod of Awali Taverners was named man of the tournament for a string of outstanding performances that made him the highest scorer in the FantaSixes competition that helped raise money for the Hill Tribe Fund and for junior cricket.

Bashundhara were clearly the dominant force but many other teams gave good accounts of themselves and so it was a notable achievement that four local teams finished in the top ten places in the 32-team tournament. Chiang Mai Warriors finished second, UN Irish Pub seventh, Kashmir eighth and SM Thais ninth.

With the introduction of several more top teams from overseas expected in 2016, the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes should continue to be a world class event for many years to come.

The opening night party at the River Market was a great reunion for players who come to Chiang Mai every year for the Cricket Sixes tournament.

Hill Tribe Kids win Worldwide Award

Richard Lockwood
The ICC have recently held their annual awards with entries from around the cricketing world and the latest news is that the Hill Tribe Cricketers supported by the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes for so long have won the worldwide spirit of Cricket Award after being put forward by the Asian Cricket Council.

This gives international recognition for our Hill Tribe kids who have filled many pages in the sports section in the Chiang Mai Mail over the last few years. Full credit must be given to Martin and Puy Papworth and to Chris and Toy Dodd for all their hard work and to the children themselves who work so hard on and off the cricket field.

Hill tribe children are the “Spirit of Cricket”

Win award from Asian Cricket Council

Young hill tribe cricketers are lauded as the true spirit of cricket.

By Richard Lockwood
The emergence of a generation of talented young hill tribe players has been one of the most encouraging developments in Thailand cricket over the last few years and this has recently been recognized by the Asian Cricket Council who have announced that the Hill Tribe Cricketers of Northern Thailand were the winners of their Spirit of Cricket Award.

Hill tribe kids in action on the pitch.

Under-privileged children from hill tribes in Northern Thailand such as Hmong, Karen and Akha who had been sent to Chiang Mai by their families have seen their lives transformed after being given the chance to play cricket. The San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes has played a crucial role in this transformation by supporting the program of schools cricket developed by CMSCA and by funding many of the children’s living costs through the Hill Tribe Fund.

Cricket was taken to the schools in the north of Thailand in the years after 2000 thanks to a team of volunteer coaches and the two outstanding sides to emerge in the junior league, CPP at Doi Saket and Wat Don Chan in Chiang Mai, were largely made up of hill tribe players.

Nok, who played in the Sixes Sawasdee Cup only two years ago, has now joined the Thailand training squad and made her debut for the women’s team in the Bangkok Cricket League.

In recent years CPP has become a Centre of Excellence for young cricketers in the North of Thailand where children have been give the chance to continue with their education as well as to practise their cricket every day.

At the same time several of the boys from the Wat Don Chan cricket team were taken out of their hostel and placed in a house in Chiang Mai before later being moved to Lamphun with their living costs and their education funded by the Hill Tribe Fund thanks to money raised by cricket enthusiasts from around the world. Girls (Nok, Aree and Dao) from a local children’s home are now also being looked after and have developed as outstanding young cricketers.

These hill tribe children have been the outstanding young players at the National Junior Championships as Chiang Mai developed as the strongest provincial team and Lamphun emerged as their main rivals. The older boys have had the chance to coach the younger players and have the opportunity to take coaching courses to improve their skills.

The Thailand’s women team has enjoyed some outstanding success over the last few years and some of the younger players, Anna, Min and Amee, come from hill tribe backgrounds and have benefited greatly from their stay at CPP.

Young Nok, player of the tournament in the Sixes Sawasdee Cup only two years ago, has now joined the Thailand training squad and made her debut for the women’s team in the Bangkok Cricket League. She will be staying at the new Bangkok Cricket Academy and has a good chance of being selected for the Thailand squad in the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier which will be held in Bangkok in November.

Three boys from Wat Don Chan, Bunchuai, Chanchai and Cher became the mainstays of the Lamphun provincial team and also play for Lanna Juniors in the Chiang Mai Senior League, and have just returned from a trip to Sri Lanka that was also partly funded by the Sixes. The Willows CC from New Zealand paid for the boys’ flights so it is appropriate that they will be playing for a Thailand junior team against The Willows’ under-19 team in Bangkok just before the Sixes

The boys had the chance to watch Sri Lanka play England, took part in a schools match themselves and enjoyed high quality coaching at the Cricket Live Foundation in Moratuwa. They even helped to coach local Sri Lankan children who are looked after by the New Zealand backed charity.

Along with Jun, who is now helping with coaching in Chiang Mai schools, the boys are now playing regularly in the Premier Division of the Bangkok Cricket League, as their talents are being appreciated across Thailand. They have played for Bangkok Spirits and Siam CC and they also helped Lanna Spirits win the Southerners Social Sixes alongside other Sixes regulars.

Hill tribe boys first played for the senior Thailand side in 2012 and a full ethnic junior side played against the MCC in the same year and it will soon be possible to field a senior side made up from players with hill tribe backgrounds. A Northern Thailand team largely made up of hill tribe children won an international women's tournament held at Royals and Nok won a player of the match award, while the Juniors came second in the inaugural Lanna Sixes held at Prem in December.

Hill tribe children have shown a real aptitude for cricket but it is just as significant that their education has also been looked after, with several of the players now at college, and other older boys returning to play in local cricket even after leaving to take up jobs. Kids used to make up the numbers in senior cricket in Chiang Mai but the two junior teams, Lanna Juniors and CPP, quickly became the strongest teams in the league.

The future of cricket in Northern Thailand will be based on this new generation of hill tribe cricketers all of whom have also been given the chance of education and a career path they would never have dreamed of a few years ago.

The teams, players and supporters of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes have very much played their part: All the hill tribe children mentioned in this article have played in the Sixes with the SM Thais winning the Bowl and Nok being an important part of the Gymkhana Cavaliers Spoon-winning side.

All the money raised by Jenny and her wonderful team of helpers goes to fund schools cricket in Chiang Mai and to support the Hill Tribe Fund’s wonderful efforts in looking after these young hill tribe cricketers. Thank you again for all your support and the Spirit of Cricket Award is well deserved recognition of all that has been achieved.

Kashmir CC win Ian McDougall Shield in UN Irish Sixes warm-up

Kashmir Cricket Club won the Ian McDougall Shield in the third edition of the UN Irish Sixes warm-up to the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes.

Richard Lockwood
Kashmir CC won the Ian McDougall Shield in the third edition of the UN Irish Sixes warm-up as six local teams battled for honours in a one-day competition at Gymkhana as players gained valuable practice for the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes which get underway on Sunday 5th April.

Kashmir CC proudly showed off their new shirts and had a strong team thanks to the addition of Ubaid to the squad of six who have represented United CC in local cricket this year. They won their first two matches to reach the final but it was UN Irish who were the surprise package thanks largely to the exploits of Martin Cardno who was making a rare appearance in Chiang Mai before flying off to Hua Hin.

With Sandy Cullen, Dean Henderson and Nick Hanlon, more often seen in the bar than on the cricket field, also in the team UN Irish raised their game impressively and won two matches to reach the final.
Lanna A, with Jun and Choo getting ready for their duties for SM Thais in the main Sixes, and a team representing the tobacco industry which included a few Floggers & Robbers favourites, each won a match apiece, while Lanna B and Lanna International School made up the rest of the competition.

Even though Martin Cardno and Jason Bray, who will be behind his video camera during the Sixes, both batted well for UN Irish and Sandy Cullen took a magnificent catch in the outfield, Kashmir CC were too good and comfortably won the Ian MacDougall Shield, and the enthusiastic Kashmiris will be looking to perform just as well next week.

Kashmir CC have been enthusiastic opponents of Lanna throughout the season, and they thoroughly deserved their success in the Sixes warm-up as they became the third winners of the Ian McDougall Shield. Lanna A beat the Floggers to finish third and Lanna B defeated LIST to finish fifth.

Another enjoyable day was completed by the Chiang Mai Chassies and Dixie Bells playing their own practice match in preparation for the ladies competition at the Sixes, while the team of umpires and scorers should also be applauded for their efforts.

Thanks to Sandy and Dean at UN Irish for overseeing a marvellous day's cricket in memory of their friend. The food provided was splendid and lasted all day as the beers continued to flow until the sun went down. It was an occasion that Ian McDougall would have thoroughly enjoyed and may many more days like this follow in the Chiang Mai Sixes which begins on 5th April. Everybody will be made most welcome.

The local teams should all give a good account of themselves with Kashmir CC, UN Irish and Chiang Mai Warriors competing in the players section alongside defending champions Bashundhara Cricketers.

The Warriors reached the Cup final in 2014 and they have gathered together a strong team with players returning from India and Pakistan, while one team who have beaten the Bangladeshis are Redlands Tigers from Brisbane who are back this year and Wolf Pack from Perth are highly competitive newcomers. The San Miguel Thais have been promoted to the top level following their victory in the Plate in 2014.

The second tier of teams which feature the more social players will see local favourites Floggers & Robbers and Gymkhana Cavaliers compete for the Spoon, as a total of 32 teams all have a chance of glory in five divisions.

Play gets under way at Gymkhana Club at 9.30 am on 5th April, and the competition continues for seven days with Finals Day on 11th April. Almost 100 five-over matches will be staged and a full bar and a range of catering are provided every day.

Full information of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes can be found on

Chiang Mai and Lamphun contest men's and women's finals at National Youth Games

Chiang Mai and Lamphun Men’s teams.

Richard Lockwood
The northern provinces of Chiang Mai and Lamphun continue to lead the way in the cricket competition at the National Youth Games as the two provinces contested both men's and women's finals in the 2015 Chanthaboon Games. Chiang Mai have been the leading force over the last few years but have recently been challenged by Lamphun, with Bunchuai leading the boys to victory in 2014.

Chiang Mai re-asserted their authority in 2015, with Bunchuai now coaching the team, as they won the men's final by 20 runs, having already won the women's final by seven wickets after Lamphun were limited to 98 for 7 in 20 overs. Eleven teams contested both boys and girls competitions after a series of qualifying competitions across the country but it is only the two northern provinces that play cricket on a regular basis.

In the men's competition, Chiang Mai won group matches against Yala and Uttaradit, while Lamphun defeated Lopburi and Pattani, while in the second round Chiang Mai beat Chonburi by 10 wickets and Lamphun overcame Bangkok by nine wickets. The men's semi-finals were more closely contested as Chiang Mai held off Khon Kaen by five runs, while Lamphun reached the final by defeating Chanthaburi by three wickets.
In the women's competition, Chiang Mai beat Chainat and Bangkok in the group stages, while Lamhun beat Mahasarakham, then Chiang Mai beat Mahasarakham in the second round, while Lamphun beat Chainat. The simi-finals saw Chiang Mai overcome Pattani by nine wickets and Lamphun defeated Sri Saket by 49 runs.

Thailand's junior cricketers had a busy week and were given the chance to mix with athletes from many other sports. The best players from the National Games were invited to stay behind in Bangkok for an Elite Women's Championship, while a Thailand junior men's team will play two matches against The Willows CC, a touring team from New Zealand.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Update April 21, 2015

Cricket Sixes: Bashundhara make it four out of four

Hill Tribe Kids win Worldwide Award

Update April 2, 2015

Hill tribe children are the “Spirit of Cricket”

Kashmir CC win Ian McDougall Shield in UN Irish Sixes warm-up

Chiang Mai and Lamphun contest men's and women's finals at National Youth Games