Thailand has completed their third National Youth Cricket Championship, this time in the eastern province of Chanthaburi. Teams from twelve provinces took part this year, five more than last time. All players in the 21 teams, the coaches and officials were Thai. The Cricket Association of Thailand says that “the tournament will showcase some of the emerging talent from every province enabling them to pick target squads for national age group teams.”

Thailand’s latest National Youth Cricket Championship is the latest in a chain of events which started eleven years ago when local cricketers were first introduced to the game through a concept called ‘Sawasdee Cricket’. A number of those new-generation Thai cricketers have gone on to play for Thailand and now more than 250 have taken part in this Championship, many of whom will undoubtedly go on to wear the national shirt and represent their country with success.

Thailand is emerging as one of the region’s success stories for the number and quality of indigenous cricketers that are coming through. The successful passage of these National Youth Championships will go a long way in advancing Thailand’s stature in the ASEAN region as they looks forward to the SEA Games, Asian Games and further Asian Cricket Council events.

44 15-overs a side matches were played at two grounds over the six days with Khon Kaen and defending champions Chiang Mai in the Boys’ Final and Chiang Mai and Uttaradit contesting the Girls’ Final. Chiang Mai retained their titles remaining unbeaten in all their matches, “but it was a lot closer than last year. Both the girls’ semi-final and final were tight games and Chiang Mai had to work hard to win against the other teams who have improved a lot since the last time,” says CAT Chief Executive Mohideen Kader.

Best Batsman: Sittipong Hongsi (Khon Kaen)
Best Bowler: Pongsakorn Sirichaiyodsakun (Chiang Mai)
Player of the Tournament: Premsak Suttisamnan (Khon Kaen)

Best Bat: Chanida Suthiruang (Chanthaburi)
Best Bowler: Maneewan Jala (Chiang Mai)
Player of the Tournament: Suleeporn Laomi (Chiang Mai)

”What was very encouraging was how enthusiastic all the provincial teachers and officials were. They have all asked for equipment and coaching from the Cricket Association of Thailand, which we will be providing,” says Mr. Kader. The next National Youth Cricket Championship will take place in Chiang Mai at the end of this year.

Cricket Association of Thailand
Thailand’s First National Youth Championships

Filed April 4th, 2012