As unlikely as it may seem cricket Chiang Mai cricket has been played for well over a century.
The Chiengmai Gymkhana Club has been as the centre of the Chiang Mai cricket community since its founding as a private gentlemen’s sports club in 1898. Gnarled old teak wallahs would come out of the jungles once or twice a year and organise social matches along with other games, lashings of gin and plenty of frolicking.
In the 1970-80s, Chiang Mai saw an influx of Rhodesians who moved here to farm tobacco, bringing with them cricket, which they reintroduced to the Gymkhana Club, where they founded the Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, now in its fourth decade!
Over the past thirty-odd years, the Cricket Sixes annually attracts 500 cricketers and supporters from all over the world for a week-long tournament every March-April. Thre are five levels of cricketing standards from teams fielding first-class players at the top down to strictly social at the bottom. Chiang Mai cricket lovers play in, watch and embrace the tournament with wholehearted enthusiasm and ten days of unrestrained partying!
The Chiang Mai Sixes raises money for programmes designed to introduce the game to local youngsters and under-privileged children. It has been a tremendous success with a local Thai team now competing at the tournament’s highest level. Some have even gone on to represent the Thai national team in international competition, notably the Thai women’s team at the 2020 World Cup in Australia where they gained international recognition and acclaim.
Several local teams compete in a league and play visiting touring teams during the season which runs from October to May. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming so if you fancy a game get involved.