Chiang Mai’s annual festival of cricket

28 March 2014
Chiang Mai’s annual festival of cricket

Cricketers from around the world will soon be arriving in the historic city of Chiang Mai as the 27th edition of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes gets underway on Sunday 30th March 2014. The Chiang Mai Sixes has been long established as one of the major events in the city’s sporting calendar but it has also gained a reputation across the globe for being one of the most enjoyable weeks of cricket arranged for amateur teams anywhere in the world.

32 teams from around the world will be taking part in the tournament with a total of more than 300 players, officials and supporters involved in the event. Teams are coming from England, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Japan, as well as a strong contingent from home country Thailand.

All the 32 teams start the tournament with a chance of winning some silverware, as teams will be divided into five separate competitions after the first qualifying round of matches when teams play in eight groups of four. Teams are split into the Gentlemen’s and Players’ sections so matches should be competitive from the start.

The first round of matches will be completed by Wednesday lunch time and teams will then be graded according to their results so that they can compete for the Cup, Shield, Bowl, Plate and Spoon. Semi-finals will start on Friday and no fewer than 10 teams will be playing in the various finals held on Saturday 5th April as the competition reaches its climax.

Teams are guaranteed to play a minimum of five matches during the week, with successful teams playing six or seven matches as almost 100 six-a-side 5-over per innings matches are played during the course of the seven days. There will also be two ladies’ matches and a junior match will bring the curtain down on the week’s cricket as winning teams get ready for the presentation of the trophies. Bashundara Cricketers from Bangladesh are the defending overall champions and have dominated the tournament over the last five years, but competition will be strong as other teams are desperate to end their long reign of success.

There is a strong showing from local teams this year as they look to end an enjoyable and competitive cricket season on a high. The UN Irish have two teams this year with Green and Gold combinations, while the Chiang Mai Warriors reached the Cup semi-finals last year and will be looking to do even better in 2014.

The junior side San Miguel Thais should have an excellent competition as many of their young players have already had a taste of success as Lamphun province won the National Youth Championships in Lopburi and they have also been playing in the local league for Lanna Juniors.

It is part of the magic of the San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes that money is raised to help the development of youth cricket in the North of Thailand and also to provide support for the living expenses of young hill tribe children who have shown great promise as cricketers and been given the benefits of a good education.

The week of cricket is all played at the historic Chiengmai Gymkhana Club which is looking better than ever thanks to the hard work of the curator and his ground staff, while the facilities available at the ground are continually being improved. The scorers will have a panoramic view from the upper tier of the Match Box and all the participants will be able to enjoy themselves at a newly extended bar.

Food and drink is available to players and spectators alike during hours of play which stretch from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and three special events are provided during the week. The Welcome Party will be held at River Market on Saturday 29th March, the Pig Picking with a barbecue and an evening of live music is provided on Wednesday 2nd April, and the competition is completed with the Final Dinner at The Empress Hotel on Saturday 5th April.

The San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes should once again be a wonderful occasion and spectators are cordially invited to attend the competition from 30th March to 5th April at Gymkhana Club.