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Exciting times ahead for our hill tribe cricketers

Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Exciting times ahead for our hill tribe cricketers

Excitement is mounting in the Hill Tribe household run by Chris and Toy Dodd in Lamphun as the three boys, Bunchuai, Cher and Chanchai are soon heading off on the trip of a lifetime to Sri Lanka. Chris and Richard Cowles will be accompanying the boys as they plan to watch at least one ODI between Sri Lanka and England at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

The main purpose of the trip, however, is for the boys to spend time at the Cricket Live Foundation in Moratuwa which is a New Zealand run charity to help disadvantaged Sri Lankan children learn life skills through playing cricket. The Thai boys will have a chance to practise at the Cricket Academy in Moratuwa, play some competitive cricket as well as to coach some of the younger children looked after by the Foundation.

In this they will be following in the footsteps of former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming who visited the Cricket Live Foundation recently with New Zealand Minister Nathan Guy and conducted an hour long coaching clinic. Fleming has been a busy man as he has also been promoting the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup which is being held in Australia and New Zealand but he was very impressed with the aims of the project and the facilities available.

We hope that there can be a special connection built between our Hill Tribe boys and the disadvantaged Sri Lankan youngsters at Cricket Live as we have seen ourselves what a difference playing cricket can make to children’s lives. Bunchuai may soon be playing for the senior Thailand side while Chanchai and Cher are preparing to join the Thailand U19s squad.

Many thanks to Richard Cowles for his efforts in arranging this trip, to Willows CC in New Zealand who have promised to pay for the flights and of course to Alex Reese and all involved with Cricket Live Foundation We hope the boys will have a memorable trip that will help greatly in their development as outstanding young cricketers.

Chris and Toy also have five very promising girls under their wing and they will not be sitting at home patiently waiting for the boys’ return. Instead they will be on the cricket field at Royals where they will be taking part in a women’s four-team tournament with three Thai teams and one visiting team from Malaysia.

Nok, Dao, Aree, Wheel and Nai will play as many as five matches in five days to gain some valuable match practice and to put themselves forward to join the senior Thailand women’s team. There could be exciting times ahead for the girls as Thailand has just been named as the host of the next ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier to be held in Bangkok next year.

This is the same event as was held in Ireland in 2013 where Thailand just missed out on qualification but this time they will have a great chance to reach the ICC World T20 which is being held in India in 2016. This could be another big step forward in the history of cricket in Thailand. Bangladesh, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, China, Papua New Guinea and a side from Africa will play in the competition alongside hosts Thailand.

An even more memorable event coming up is the inaugural staging of the Lanna Sixes to be held at Prem International School on 6th and 7th December 2014. Teams from Malaysia and Bangkok have already confirmed their participation and it will be a fantastic opportunity for all local cricketers to take part in a weekend of fun and fund-raising for our wonderful junior cricketers.