Fast action, skillful play and quick results are key ingredients for modern games and sports. While traditionalists may lament the passing of a gentler age, there is surely no denying the excitement that today's added pace, fitness and skill have brought to old sports like football, rugby and cricket. Shorter matches, often with smaller teams also fit the picture, and so even modern innovations like one-day cricket have subsequently been shortened and speeded up even further with 20/20 cricket and the ultimate short, fast game, six-a-side, or "Sixes" cricket.
Worldwide, more and more Sixes cricket tournaments have sprung up to popularize this short form game where a single match lasts no more than about 40 minutes. In Chiang Mai since 1988, the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, one of the first ever international Sixes tournaments (the first was in Bangkok in 1985), has been attracting more and more teams and spectators each year. Today it is perhaps the most popular amateur Sixes cricket tournament in the world. In the 19th Chiang Mai Sixes, taking place over 7 days from April 2 – 8th, 31 teams from 13 different countries are registered to compete for 5 trophies (Cup, Shield, Bowl, Plate and Spoon).
To participate in what is one of the biggest events of its kind anywhere, well over 300 cricketers, their friends and families will be flying into Chiang Mai for the tournament. During the week they are in the north, it is estimated this group adds in the region of 20 million baht or more to the local economy – a significant contribution rivaling even local Songkran celebrations. A good reason why the Chiang Mai office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has helped sponsor this event for so many years.
Lots to Enjoy
Visiting spectators are invited to come and enjoy the Sixes at the Gymkhana Club ground (just off the old C'Mai – Lamphun Rd. between Gawila Barracks & Foreign Cemetary) . Shaded spectator seating is provided, there's a Boundary Bar open all day serving a full range of alcoholic drinks and other beverages, and this year no less than 3 food outlets (provided by Northern Farms, Bear's Den, and Grill Station) serving Thai and Western dishes. To help follow the fast paced games on the cricket field there is a broadcast commentary on the matches. This commentary is also carried live worldwide via the Sixes' own website at www.chiangmaisixes.com.
In addition to 7 days of non-stop Sixes' cricket (10 to 14 matches every day), there is a parallel junior cricket tournament running on an adjacent field for teams of local Thai school children. The 7th Chiang Mai Sixes Sawasdee Cricket Cup is part of the Chiang Mai based programme to develop cricket as a sport for Thais which was honoured recently by a visit from Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.The Chiang Mai Sixes participants support this junior Thai sport development with regular donations of cash, coaching and equipment.
Support for Gymkhana
This year also marks the 9th cycle anniversary of the hosts to the Chiang Mai Sixes, the 108 year-old Chiengmai Gymkhana Club. Back in 1898, cricket was probably first played in Thailand within the beautiful, pastoral surrounds of this venerable institution. Today, while the cricket ground has been fully restored and recovered after the effects of last year's floods, the club's key source of income, the splendid nine-hole golf course continues to be affected with fewer golfers coming to play. The Club urgently needs the support of golfers and others using its convenient in-town facilities to help pay the ongoing costs of its recovery.
This year's 19th Chiang Mai Sixes veritable feast of cricket will play its part in helping the Gymkhana recovery. You can help too by spending an enjoyable day out at the Sixes. Admission to the Gymkhana ground and the cricket is free, but if you buy a drink or a meal at the ground you will not only help the Sixes' and the cause of cricket in Thailand, but also contribute to recovery of the historic old sporting club. Chiang Mai Sixes' Cricket starts everyday 8:30 to 9am and runs until sun-down from Sunday April 2 thru' to Saturday April 8th.
For further information, photos etc., please contact : Geoff Thompson, Chiang Mai Sixes Publicity, at : firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone # 010-296-101
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