THE Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes is one of the world’s most famous and long-running amateur cricket tournaments. The first edition was held in 1988 when Kowloon CC from Hong Kong won the Cup, and the Sixes has now successfully held its 30th event.
Darjeeling from Dubai, the Drifters from England and the Wombats are the three teams who have appeared in every tournament, and they have already booked their places for next year when the next edition will be held from April 1-7, 2018, at the historic Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club.
There are five different competitions for both male and female teams, allowing all players to have the chance to compete.
The Chiang Mai Sixes are not just about playing cricket, as the event commits to also promoting junior cricket in the North of Thailand and to support young Thai cricketers.
Since 2000, the Sixes have staged competitions for local schools so that young Thai students can play Sawasdee Cricket with a softball. The Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance was formed to introduce coaching into schools in Chiang Mai, Lamphun. Facilities have been built so that hardball cricket can be taught throughout the year, as well.
Thai children seem to have an aptitude for cricket and supporters, and rival teams at the Sixes enjoy watching the Thai juniors batting, bowling and fielding with great enthusiasm as they take part in the main Sixes competitions.
The Sixes supports more than just cricket on the field, however. The Hill Tribe Fund was established to assist the needs of young hill tribe cricketers, as well.
At one stage, a complete hill tribe cricket team lived in the same house, were well fed and taken to school each day because of the fund. A number of boys have continued to play at a higher level and have represented Thailand in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. It was a proud moment for all involved when the boys came back to Chiang Mai with their bronze medals.
Jenny Morgan, the Duck Lady, has been responsible for raising millions of baht thanks to the generosity of players, supporters and organisers of the Chiang Mai Sixes, and her efforts have helped a generation of Thai children to enjoy playing cricket and help them have a better life.