Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand, and the Chiang Mai Metropolitan area attracted 2.7 million foreign visitors in 2016 according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
CHIANG MAI CRICKET SIXES
History of the Tournament
The Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes ‘the Sixes’ has been held for 30 successive years in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and has grown to become one of the largest and most popular amateur cricket tournaments in the world. The 2018 tournament will take place from 31st March to 7th April.
In a typical year, 30 – 34 teams representing 12 – 15 countries participate in the tournament, which takes place over 7 days in April. There is a ladies’ competition played alongside the men’s in which 2 or 3 teams participate. Up to 26 matches are played per day, starting at 8:30am and finishing at around 5pm.
In total, the teams comprise of around 400 players and supporters, who visit Chiang Mai and stay for approximately 10 – 15 days in Thailand. The tournament is well known in the cricket community, and attended by locals and businesses with an interest in cricket.
The 2018 Sixes is due to have 34 teams participating, and there are a further 16 teams on the waiting list.
The Chiang Mai Sixes is attended by people of all ages who regard the competition primarily as a holiday, and the event is regarded as a major date in the Chiang Mai tourist calendar. Most teams will travel to other parts of Thailand during their stay, and many will remain in Chiang Mai for the Songkran new year event.
Teams and participants will spend most of their evenings and free time in the day out in the city or surrounding area. At the ground participants and spectators are provided with an all day bar serving a range of beverages, five restaurants, a massage parlour, and vendors selling sports equipment, clothes, and refreshments..
The tournament organises social events throughout the week:
• Every year before the first day of the tournament a welcome party is organised at a riverside bar/ restaurant, which includes complementary foods and drinks, and a firework display.
• On the Wednesday of the tournament a BBQ is arranged at the playing venue.
• After the final day of play there is a presentation dinner arranged in the evening at a well known hotel, where trophies and prizes are awarded to the winning teams. In 2017 this was held at the Shangri-La Hotel – Chiang Mai.
Since 2000, the Sixes has been essential in developing junior cricket in Northern Thailand. The introduction of junior cricket to Chiang Mai was a response to a joint UN/ICC initiative for a Global Cricket Week in April 2000, which coincided with that year’s 13th Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes Tournament.
A junior version of cricket was chosen as the basis for introducing the sport to school children aged between 10 – 12 years. The game is called “Sawasdee Cricket” in Thailand. Funding provided by the Sixes has been important in enabling disadvantaged children to participate in these junior cricket initiatives, by providing resources for coaching and helping meet their educational needs. Several local cricket programmes have received long term financial support from the Sixes. The week of the Sixes is also important in raising awareness of local youth initiates, and large sums of money are raised through financial donations because of the Sixes event.
Funding provided by the Sixes has also seen Thai cricketers have the opportunity to travel to various countries to take part in junior cricket programs and tours. Children who were introduced to cricket through programmes in Chiang Mai now represent Thailand in international tournaments around the world. In the recent 2017 SEA Games, the Thailand ladies won Gold in one competition, and the men Bronze in another. 11 players from programmes in Chiang Mai were in the winning
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