|Chiang Mai’s David Buck points the way forward, the Buddhist temple of Doi Suthep looks on|
Not content with two turf grounds in Chiang Mai, the Cricket Association of Thailand has found a site for a new facility. It will be at the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort to the north of Chiang Mai, about five kilometres away from the Traidhos Oval (formerly Prem Oval) in Maerim. “It’s a fabulous opportunity for Thailand to accelerate their development,” says ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq.
The site has been under observation since the end of 2011 and turning it into a quality playing surface is proving to be a relatively easy task. “Much of the machinery’s already here as it’s a golf course, there’s a pavilion with changing rooms and dining facilities, the drainage is going to be fine as its high in the hills and the challenge of bringing teams here to play and/or stay isn’t going to be difficult at all as there is some very comfortable accommodation and all the mod cons of a luxury resort already here,” says Prem International School Head of Cricket David Buck.
Currently used for the occasional football match, the ground will need levelling, with boundaries extended from 50 metres to 70 metres. The turf thatching and ground renovation is in the hands of local ACC Level IV curator Puttavit Poshyanonda. “I’ve lost a bit more weight than I’d like in getting everything done but everyone at the golf club’s been very helpful and I’m confident that we’ll have our first matches on the square well before the end of the year,” says the former Thailand cricketer. Chiang Mai’s Gymkhana is having part of its square renovated and, on completion, the ground will have five turf wicket strips. The ACC Trophy Challenge in December is Thailand’s next ACC event.
Local and international cricket is currently played at both the Traidhos Oval and the Gymkhana ground in Chiang Mai, with Cricket Association of Thailand residential youth training facilities at Doi Saket, to the east of Chiang Mai. “To build a top-quality ground and for it not to be used would be an absolute waste. However there is so much cricket happening in Thailand and in Chiang Mai especially with more and more children from surrounding schools learning about cricket, that even without international teams coming, of which I am sure there will be many, there is every chance that this new ground will be used on a regular basis. We thank the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club’s members for allowing this cricket to be built on their land and we applaud the initiative shown by Chiang Mai’s cricket community in developing the site,” says the ACC Chief Executive. The cost of the new ground will be borne by the ACC and Cricket Association of Thailand.
Thailand Cricket Profile
Filed June 15th, 2012