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Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, April 1-7, 2007, Gymkhana cricket grounds.

The 20th annual Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes will start on April 1, 2007 at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds, and it will be the largest Chiang Mai Sixes ever, with more teams and more matches and more fun than ever before.

For one week, 33 teams from countries around the world will meet to play cricket and enjoy the warm welcome that Chiang Mai provides to its visitors. The sounds of willow bats striking leather cricket balls, the cries of "Howzat!", and the pleasure of a cold drink in the warm April sun will be enjoyed by everyone who attends.

For those who are not familiar with the lively and action-filled Sixes version of cricket, it is a fast, much-shortened form of the one day game, and the short format produces an intensity of play that even first-time viewers can enjoy. Each team fields six players, and the batsmen face a total of but 30 balls (five overs of six balls each). Run totals have exceeded 120 runs from five overs, which is prodigious batting! Of course, with the entire fielding side being only six players, there is a lot of open field to hit into, but that is all part of the excitement as the two teams struggle for dominance.

Each day's cricket will commence at 8.30 am and up to 14 matches are scheduled each day before drawing of stumps around 5.30 pm. The fact that up to 14 games will be played per day gives you an idea of how fast and furious the action will be. While cricket is the main theme and topic, fun and socializing are also high on the agenda.
So far, team entrants are from thirteen different countries for this year's tournament, including Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, England, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, and Wales. And then there is the one team billing itself as coming from "the rest of the world". The week also includes matches by two women's cricket teams and an "Old Crocks" game. A number of notable players with international experience are usually on hand and playing with some of the teams, so who knows what cricket star you might see?

In 2006-2007, a number of improvements were made at the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club cricket grounds. First, a set of turf wickets were installed, and new drainage put it to help with the maintenance of the grounds. These turf wickets enabled the first-ever international cricket matches to be played at the Gymkhana Club in December 2006. Next, an entirely new scoreboard was installed with quite large numbers that can easily be viewed from anywhere on the grounds. Last, an enclosed area has been created to host the equipment and people who will be supporting the Sixes.

Once again this year, every day of the Chiang Mai sixes will be broadcast in both audio and video formats. Full details of the broadcasts and other details of the tournament can be found on the Sixes website at www.ChiangmaiSixes.com.

In order to encourage the development of cricket in Thailand, a simplified version of cricket was introduced to Chiang Mai schools some years ago. It is called "Sawasdee Cricket" and the juniors will have their own tournament, competing for the Sixes Sawadee Cricket Cup, from the 4th - 6th April. They will be playing on a field adjacent to the adult pitch and it is marvelous how these young Thais have taken to playing cricket! Some of the first players from Chiang Mai have now graduated to playing the hard ball game and are now representive Thailand in junior international matches.

So now is the time to dust off that old cricket cap and blazer and get along to the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes. Lots of action-packed cricket, lots of fun and a major measure of friendly socializing!

The Chiengmai Gymkhana Club is situated on the old Chiang Mai Lamphun Road just north of Nong Hoy Market (before the Sheraton Hotel) and is an easy tuk-tuk or songtaew ride from any part of Chiang Mai. Admission to the beautiful, spacious grounds of the Gymkhana Club is free and there is ample, shaded seating for cricket spectators. As always, there will a wide variety of foods on sale, plus cold beer and other beverages will be available from the "Boundary Bar" which is located right in the heart of the action. The Sixes is sure to be a fun-filled seven days and a big crowd puller for residents of Chiang Mai and visitors to our northern city.

To Get There: Gymkhana Club, Raj Uthit Rd, trisection on Lamphun Rd., Tel 053-241035


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