June 12, 2001

Hong Kong Sixes set to return

The Hong Kong Sixes are set to return to the cricketing calendar this November after a four-year absence.

A victim of the late-1990's Asian economic downturn and a failed attempt to set up a rival Super 8 competition, the seventh six-a-side carnival of its kind in Hong Kong will be staged on the weekend of 10-11 November.

The Hong Kong Cricket Association made the announcement yesterday of the tournament's revival, backed by the sponsorship of Cathay Pacific Airlines and Standard Chartered Bank. WSG-Asia will be the tournament organisers in conjunction with the HKCA.

Eight national teams will be taking part, including the home side, and most of the major Test-playing nations. The final eight has yet to be announced. It is not clear how strong the international teams will be, as the tournament will fall in the middle of a busy time for Test cricket - Australia are pitted against New Zealand, and India against South Africa, in Test matches on the weekend of the 2001 Sixes.

Total prizemoney for the tournament will be $HK two million (approx $US 256,000), with the winners walking away with $HK 623,000 ($US 80,000). All matches will be played at Kowloon Cricket Club.

Pakistan were the winners on the last occasion this event was held in September 1997. They also won the first such event in 1992, other winners being England (1993 and 1994), South Africa (1995) and West Indies (1996).

Each team in Sixes cricket consists of six players who play two innings of five overs each. Each member of the fielding side except the wicketkeeper bowls one over. Batsmen are forced to retire once they have scored 31.