The Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance is close to reaching its 20th birthday since being officially formed at the 13th edition of the Chiang Mai Sxies in the year 2000. A joint UN / ICC initiative for a Global Cricket Week in April 2000 coincided with that year’s Sixes and the first Sixes Junior Cricket Cup was held at Gymkhana Club with three teams involved. More local schools started to play Sawasdee cricket and take part in the annual tournament that became known as the Sawasdee Cup.
Some fantastic Thai players have developed thanks to the coaching program in schools and to the enjoyment gained from playing in a tournament against other schools. Nattakan Chantham, opener in the Thailand team which has qualified for the Women's T20 World Cup in Australia, learnt her cricket at Prince Royal's College, one of the schools who played in first competition, and Chanchai Pengkumta is probably now the leading young player in Thailand.
The 20th Sixes Sawasdee Cup was delayed until June this year when children were divided into 11 teams and had a wonderful day of cricket at the start of the new school year. but children who Schools represented included Prem International School, Lanna International School (LIST) and Varee School, together with Thai schools such as Huai Kaew and Sahagon Song. Huai Kaew were winners of the first division, while Prem won the second tier and LIST won the third level.
Talented young cricketers who played in that tournament are already making a name for themselves in hard ball cricket. 12-year-olds Chai and Duan have been regulars at net practice at Gymkhana through the last six months and they both impressed at a national under-16 training camp. CMSCA has started running junior matches for younger children both boys and girls so the youngsters are getting the chance to play at the wonderful facilities available at Prem.
Chai and Duan have recently played in a provincial tournament in Bangkok and Duan was named player of the tournament at the Koh Chang Beach Cricket tournament after showing off his rich potential and older brother Leng had a spell training with the Myanmar team before becoming CMSCA's latest junior coach.
These three boys were part of a 20 strong squad of junior cricketers who took part in the Koh Chang Beach Cricket as CMSCA and Lamphun both brought teams on the bus and ferry. The kids all stayed at the wonderful Serenity Resort and were sponsored by Lanna Rehab alongside the Chiang Mai Sixes. With Lanna also having a senior team, a wonderful time was had by all, young and older. The junior players from the North of Thailand also helped run a coaching course for the new Koh Chang junior team.
We wish CMSCA every success in its 20th year of helping Thai children gain so much enjoyment from cricket and the two youngest boys involved this year are just nine years old. Thank you to all players and supporters of the Chiang Mai Sixes who have contributed so much over the last 20 years.