Country Profile

In a country where football, Muay Thai, tennis and golf have high visibility, it may be surprising to note that cricket has been played recreationally since 1890, the era of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, both in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. It became organized as a competitive sport with the formation of the Thailand Cricket League (TCL) in 1971. It has expanded from an initial six Bangkok teams to a present 19 teams playing in three divisions; and from time to time, since 1980s, including a team from Chiang Mai. Adult cricket is now being played not only in Bangkok and Chiang Mai but also in Khon Kaen, HUA HIN, Easter Seaboard, and more recently in PHUKET. In 2004, with the blessing of the Sports Authority of Thailand the TCL was renamed the Cricket Association of Thailand. In the past twenty years there have been two especially significant developments which have raised the profile of cricket in Thailand. One was a Thailand-based innovation now played widely elsewhere, the highly popular Cricket Sixes. Starting with RBSC Sixes in Bangkok and then the Chiang Mai sixes, Hua Hin Sixes and PHUKET Sixes tournaments dot the annual calendar.

The other major development was the fielding of Thailands first national team in 1990, culminating with participation in 1996 in the inaugural ACC Trophy hosted in Kuala Lumpur and in the following year fielding an Under 19 team in the inaugural Youth Asia Cup in Hong Kong. The greater scope of the game beyond Thailands boundaries was being appreciated too, so to the need to raise its level of competitiveness.The past ten years has seen a hearting growth of the game at grass root level. In Bangkok, there are a number of senior and junior youth teams playing regularly in structured competitions. The Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance has been in action since the 1990s and through its Sawasdee cricket programme has been building a fast-growing group of young cricketers. Khon Kaen, Chonburi, Petchabun, Phuket, Khao Yai also have structured coaching programs and regular tournaments. From this base, Thailand not only fields an adult team but also Under 19, 17 and 15 national teams which compete in annual ACC-sponsored tournaments. The womens cricket took a step forward with an all ethnic Thailand team participating in the inaugural ACC Womens Cricket Tournament in Johor Bahru in 2007. Besides the girls inter-school competitions the Womens league tournament will further strengthen the structure of womens cricket in Thailand.