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Sizzling Sixes all set for the seaside

April is definitely the cricket Sixes month in Thailand and hot on the heels of the Bangkok and Chiang Mai tournaments the scene moves to the seaside at sunny Hua Hin this coming week.

This year's Hua Hin International Sixes, which will be held April 9-13 at the scenic setting of the Dusit Resort ground, will be the biggest in its 12-year history

A record 19 teams from five countries have confirmed their participation in the tournament which will also feature some exciting top class players including former Australian Test star Colin "Funky" Miller.

As always there will be a strong Australian representation with eight teams competing from Down Under while there will be two sides from the UK as well as squads from Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

Thailand will be represented by six sides who will all be wanting to put on a good show for local cricket supporters.

As usual the tournament will feature two divisions with seven 'elite' teams competing for the Cup and 12 more socially oriented outfits entering the Masters.

In the Cup, defending champions Commonwealth CC from Bangladesh will be looking to retain their trophy. Virtually the Bangladesh national reserve side, they will be determined to defend their title.

Likely to put in a strong showing are two Melbourne sides, MCC Red and Canterbury, both former champions. With Australian one day player Michael Lewis in their line-up, MCC appear determined to get their hands on the trophy again. Lewis is a top class fast bowler and became an Australian one day international at the ripe age of 31.

KCC Woodbines from Hong Kong always put on a good showing and this year reportedly have their strongest team for some time. Another competitive side are the Globetrotters who have performed in the Bangkok Sixes over the years and once had Sachin Tendulkar in their side.

Thailand are represented in the Cup division by two attractive sides, Thai Thevada and Thailand Colts. Thai Thevada, featuring local players from Bangkok, are former winners and will be boosted by the presence of versatile all-rounder Miller and are always a good bet. Miller is one of the most entertaining cricketers you would wish to see - both on and off the field - and his presence guarantees plenty of fun and also top class cricket.

The team to watch out for, however could be the Colts, groomed by veteran RBSC cricketer Mohidden Kader. This Under 19 Thai side is oozing with enthusiasm and with guest Victoria player Darren Berry joining their ranks, could provide a few upsets. Berry is regarded one of the best wicketkeepers never to have played Test cricket and captained Victoria to success in the 2003/04 Pura Cup.

The Masters section, which tends to attract cricketers of a more mature age and sedate approach to the game, promises to be great fun. This will include the two UK sides, Stiller's Mold and Ashton Wold.

Former Bangkok-based diplomat Brett Farmer will also be making a welcome return to Thailand with his team Lardner's Follies.

Hosts Hua Hin have two representatives in the tournament, the Hopalongs and the Pensioners. The Hopalongs have given great support to the tournament from the start and are always good value for money.

No event like this can be held without sponsors and giving great support this year are the Tourism Authority of Thailand, SCB Securities, UPB Asset management and the Dusit Resort Hua Hin.

It promises to be an entertaining week of festival cricket in the pleasant surroundings of the Dusit Resort.
Bangkok Post

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