The original name of the Dusit Thani was the Dusit Resort and Polo Club but that doesn’t mean the land in front of the resort was originally a polo ground. The grounds were created as a purpose made cricket ground, perhaps the first in Thailand.
These days it is also used for a variety of other sports, for example the Dusit Thani Hua Hin Football Academy, offering a wide range of football courses for children from 4 – 15 years of age. However it should not be forgotten that in 1994, the plan to convert what was a swamp area into a cricket ground was first hatched and in 1996 the first Hua Hin Sixes tournament was being played. Thanasak Karnasuta – ‘Tom’ tells the story of being drafted as the first President of the Thailand Cricket League in 1993.
He quickly found out that a first priority for the League was to have it’s own grounds. No more playing second fiddle to other sports with cancelled fixtures being a common problem. His entrepreneurial efforts secured funding from sponsors such as the Singha Corporation and then the support of the Dusit International Group Owner Khun Chanin and the Resident Manager John Gill. These days the grounds are in great shape with a brand new extended Astro Turf pitch installed this year. Tom is still the prime organiser of the Annual Hua Hin Sixes and still the President of the Thailand Cricket League and this year there were 21 teams competing with 84 games happening over 6 days concluding on 9th April.
As the regulars say – ‘No Tom No Sixes.’ However it must also be said that he only features in match statistics as the player with the all-time second highest number of ‘wides’ in an over – 9! For non-cricketers, a ‘wide’ is a ball which is bowled outside of the batters reach. That’s not a good look as the batting team scores a bonus run each time and the ball must be bowled again.
This year the winners were:
Veterans: Gold Coast Tigers
Masters: Willsmere Wanderers
Cup: Thai Thevada
Major sponsors: Tourism Authority of Thailand, Bangkok Post, Dusit Thani Hua Hin, TNF cricket products from Australia. Additional sponsors included Smirnoff, Singha Beer and the Hilton Hua Hin.