Cricket is being played as a medal sport at Thailand’s National Youth Games for the first time. Cricket was a demonstration sport last year
at the Games when they were held at Phetchabun. This year’s event is at Uttaradit in northern Thailand, bordering Laos. The event is the first ever cricket competition sanctioned by the Sports Authority of Thailand.
Cricket has been slowly embedding itself into the Thai sporting landscape with more and more provinces, more and more schools and more and more players taking part. More teams than the organisers of the games had room for, applied to last year’s Games, with the limit being set at 12. This time seven girls’ teams are also taking part. The provinces in action span the length and breadth of Thailand: Bangkok, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai Chonburi, Khon Kaen, Lopburi, Phetchabun, Phuket, Srisaket, Suphanburi, Uttaradit and Yala. The overwhelming majority of these cricketers have not been born to the game but have come to it following visits to their schools by coaches and players linked to the Cricket Association of Thailand and the teams taking part in Uttaradit are being coached by national team players. Five years ago 90% of those involved had zero knowledge of cricket. All of them are now creating a pathway for hundreds and thousands more to follow them as cricketers of Thailand.
Cricket is the 31st discipline at the Games, an event which is now in its 27th year. A matting wicket has been created by the Cricket Association of Thailand for the event, and games will be 15 overs a side. Cricket will also be a demonstration sport at this year’s SEA Games
(South East Asian Games) in November in Indonesia with expectations of it becoming another medal sport at subsequent SEA Games.
Related:Cricket Schedule, 27th National Youth Games, UttaraditThai Champions Chiang MaiThailand Cricket ProfileFiled March 21st, 2011