The new season of the Chiang Mai Senior League has just got under way with two junior teams, Lanna Thais and Lamphun, competing against senior teams from Lanna, CMCC and the newly formed All Stars, so it was a wonderful way to celebrate the start of the new season when Blythswood CC made a generous donation of junior cricket equipment that has been shared out between Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance (CMSCA) and Lamphun Junior Cricket.
It was Chris Love who introduced Blythswood CC from Essex in England to the Chiang Mai Sixes and they will be taking part in their 14th consecutive tournament in 2018. Lovee is an affable Australian who has been a regular visitor to Chiang Mai and has made occasional appearances in local cricket at Gymkhana Club so he has seen the development of junior cricketers in the North of Thailand over the past decade and knew exactly what the needs of CMSCA and Lamphun would be.
Chris is pictured with the junior players who are benefiting from the coaching program carried out by Martin and Puy Papworth as part of CMSCA's program of coaching in local schools as well as twice-weekly net sessions at Gymkhana. He brought a generous donation of junior bats, gloves, helmets and other equipment which are all perfect for Thai chldren aged 11 to 16 who are learning to love cricket in Chiang Mai and Lamphun.
The boys and girls coached by CMSCA will play as part of the Lanna Thais team in the league and players from schools in Lamphun will play alongside established star cricketers like Chanchai and Cher in the Lamphun team. The first match in the league was played last weekend between Lanna and CMCC with CMCC winning by four wickets but both junior teams will start their campaigns this coming weekend.
Lanna won the toss and elected to bat first on a newly prepared wicket but batting was a struggle once Martin Cardno was caught at mid-on by Ubaid. Richard Young made 24 but was one of three wickets for Asif Noor who claimed figures of 3 for 13 before returning to his wicket-keeping duties.
Captain Pete Warner made the most of a rare opportunity to bat as he top scored with 27* and shared a useful partnership with Hugh Williams batting at number ten but Asif Chashoo finished off the innings with three wickets for 11 as Lanna were bowled out for 139 in 33.3 overs.
CMCC lost two early wickets but were put in a strong position by Asif Noor who hit 33 and Sidharth who made a cultured 40. Matt Bray took 3 for 36 but Ubaid was there at the end to see his side home to victory. His arm was strapped up as he was suffering from tennis elbow but he managed two catches and a spell behind the stumps before making an unbeaten 17 from 14 balls. CMCC had won the first league match of the season by four wickets with plenty of time to spare.