Phuket International Cricket Week Peaks as Kuwait Eagles Swoop in Gripping Sixes Cup Win and 7s Tournament Starts
The world’s leading resort island is once more at ‘sixes and 7s’ with the 4th Annual Kata International Cricket 7s starting yesterday at the Republic Phuket sports ground.
This follows a thrilling victory for Kuwait Eagles at the same venue on Sunday, as the tight-knit Eagles dared to snatch victory in the 12th Annual Phuket International Cricket Sixes Cup, beating Narayanganj from Bangladesh.
With the first ball about to be bowled today in the International Cricket 7s, Kata Group Resorts Thailand President, Pramookpisitt Achariyachai, major sponsor of Phuket International Cricket Week for the fourth consecutive year, said there was plenty of action yet to come for fans of the game’s shortest form.
Beyond the ‘fun in the sun’ slogan, Phuket International Cricket Week has raised over THB 500,000 for junior cricket in Phuket in the past four years, and every year pumps an estimated THB 14 million into the Phuket economy.
Pramookpisitt congratulated the Kuwait Eagles on their victory, and offered his thanks to all the teams that took part, while wishing those competing in the 7s tournament over the next three days the best of luck.
He said it was heartening to see a team of Phuket junior players competing in the 7s, as they were evidence of the ‘giving back’ aspect of Cricket Week in action.
“These are players – young Thai cricket players – who have been introduced to the sport of cricket and developed into fine young players as a direct result of funds raised by the tournaments and the commitment to junior sport development in Phuket of Kata Group Resort.”
Pramookpisitt, a leading light in promoting sports tourism on Phuket, has thrown the resources of his hospitality group behind the cricket double-header as the main sponsor of International Cricket Week, which comprises the Phuket International Cricket Sixes Tournament (April 16th – 19th)and Kata International Cricket 7s Tournament (April 22nd – 24th), as well as a less formal beach cricket competition.
Kata Group Resort Thailand are also title sponsors of the annual Kings Cup Regatta sailing event in December and Mr Achariyachai is the owner of Phuket Football Club.
A total of 24 cricket teams took part in the two tournaments this year, with teams from Australia, Bangkok, Bangladesh, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Pakistan, Phuket and Pakistan. The event is being held at the picturesque and recently rebuilt Republic Phuket sports ground in Chalong district, also home to Phuket Football Club and offering world class facilities, and a specially curated pitch for Cricket Week.
An estimated 600 people attended the Sixes over the three days of competition, with more expected to gather to watch the 7s.
“It is my hope that Phuket International Cricket Week continues to grow from strength to strength, winning hearts and minds, providing great entertainment and a welcome boost to Phuket’s economy,” he said. “Cricket is a world-renowned sport and we are honoured to again play host.”
Phuket International Cricket Week 2015 sees the Asian Cricket Sixes Tour (ACST)chalk up 40 tournaments since its foundation in 2000, continuing on its mission to foster ‘Friendship Through Cricket’.
Past big names to grace the Sixes tournament include Karen Rolton, former Australian Women’s Team captain and ICC World Player of the Year, former England test cricket internationals Adam Hollioake and Alan Mullally, and former Australian international Trevor Chappell.
ACST Chairman Michael Maher said he was thrilled with a cracking International Cricket Week, also offering his congratulations to the victors and all teams competing this year.
“International Cricket Week is far from over,” he said. “The 4th Annual Kata International Cricket 7s now gets underway. The field looks wide open and there’s plenty more action for fans of the game to enjoy, and lots more of the promised ‘fun in the sun’.”
“Kata Group Resorts and ACST share the same objectives in sports development and having fun on holiday and we are very grateful for their ongoing support.
“We’re also grateful for the continued support of our pub sponsors: O’Tool’s Bar, North Karon, All Stars Bar, Kata, and Bondi Beach Bar, Patong.”
Sixes cricket is a fast and furious affair, with just six players per side and five overs, or 30 balls, to be bowled. The 7s format adds one extra player, giving the fielding team the luxury of an extra man in the field, making it a slightly more cagey affair. Both offer edge of the seat excitement, boundaries and wickets galore, with batsman forced to go for the big biff from the opening ball.
Kata Beach Resort & Spa, host venue of the event, is offering a special Thai Residents package from now until 30 June, 2015 with rates starting from THB5,699 Nett for a Superior Room and THB6,299 Nett for a Deluxe Room. The package includes a set dinner for two persons, American Breakfast for two, welcome drink and fruit basket on arrival.
For more information visit www.katagroup.com