November marks the arrival of the new cricket season here in Bangkok.
The concrete jungle of Bangkok may not appear the most likely candidate for a game of cricket, but it does indeed host an active and growing community.
In this post we’ll take a look at the various options for playing cricket in Bangkok, including a rundown of local teams, the best facilities, coaching options, and how to get involved with the game.
Cricket… In Thailand?
Thailand is a melting pot of the expat communities that you would typically associate with a thriving cricket scene.
We’ve got Indians, Pakistanis, Brits, Aussies, South Africans, Kiwis…
Throw in a long dry season, a strong drinking culture, and some of the flattest wickets in the world… what do you have?
Yes, Cricket in Thailand.
The gentlemen’s game played at a gentlemen’s pace… keeping the local sunscreen economy afloat.
In truth, cricket provides a welcome social structure for many expats here in Thailand.
The game is played in a good spirit (mostly), in good weather, with a sense of community and camaraderie that is valued by many expats, especially those fresh off the plane.
Whether you’ve been struck by Ashes fever and want to try the game, or simply feel the urge to dust down the kit bag after many years retired, there are clubs and teams actively searching for new members.
All standards are welcome.
Clubs and Teams
The majority of cricket teams are based in Bangkok, with a smaller contingent scattered around Chiang Mai and Pattaya.
Looking for a team to join?
A good place to start is the official Bangkok Cricket League website.
Here you’ll find a list of active clubs, and their respective contact details.
Note: Some of these contact details appear out of date, so you may have more luck contacting teams via their respective social media pages and groups (see below).
League cricket in Thailand is supposed to run from December through to July, but a reduction of available grounds has led to extended seasons recently.
As for the league itself, it consists of five divisions:
- Premier Division
- A1 Division
- A2 Division
- B1 Division
- B2 Division
Premier Division games are 50 overs per side, played with a white ball.
The other divisions are 25 overs per side, played with a red ball.
“Where Are The Games Played?”
Pretty much anywhere a suitable pitch can be found.
The likes of which can generally be counted on one hand. Some would say… one finger.
Most fixtures take place on the campus grounds of AIT or TCG, with rumours of more matches to be played in Pattaya over the coming season.
Harinder Singh, founder of the Bangkok Cricket Academy, recently posted photos of construction work for a brand new cricket ground.
No word on when that will be ready, but it can’t come soon enough.
Before the league kicks off, there is a T20 competition, a variety of Sixes tournaments held around South East Asia, and a decent amount of social cricket held at venues like the Cricket Development Academy, British Club, and so on.
There’s also the occasional slice of beach cricket — for those who relish a trip to the bar/pool between innings (or sometimes during).
Team Websites and Social Pages
It’s difficult to track the online footprint of the many teams operating across Thailand, but let’s give it a crack…
Below is a selection of team websites and social groups.
Looking to join a team? This is a good place to start.
Note to non-listed teams: If you have any websites/pages to add for your club, drop us an email or leave a comment below.
|Asia United CC|
|Bangkok Cricket Club|
|Chiang Mai Lanna Cricket Club|
|Pakistan Royal Cricket Club|
|Pattaya Cricket Club|
|RBSC / YTSA|
|Siam Cricket Club|
|Thailand Cricket Club|
Facilities and Coaching
Looking to practice, get some coaching, or locate the nearest cricket facilities?
Let’s take a look at some of the top cricket venues in Bangkok:
Cricket Development Academy
Soi Sukhumvit 70/3, Bangkok, Thailand 10250
- Web: https://cricdevac.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cricdevac
- Bookings: https://cricdevac.skedda.com/booking
- Tel: 087 030 2333
A welcome addition to the Bangkok cricketing scene, located in Bang Na, the Academy is one of the first purpose-built cricketing facilities in Thailand.
Opening in 2017, it features an outdoor playing area suitable for sixes or eights, two nets, a variety of high-tech equipment — from speed guns to bowling machines — and top class coaching.
The Academy is operated by Kaushal Bhamuvani and head coach Adrian Salter.
It provides several opportunities for cricket fans of all ages and abilities to get involved with the game, including:
Internationally Recognised Coaching
Both private and group classes are available; kids and adults welcome.
If you want to get your kids involved with the game, the Academy has excellent training from top class coaches that mixes the development of key cricket skills with competition, exercise and fun.
The Academy’s outdoor pitch provides a welcome playing space in a city that is struggling to serve up available wickets. It regularly hosts weekend sixes or eights tournaments, with the floodlights allowing for games to run well in to the evenings.
These games are streamed via the Academy’s Facebook page, which you can check out for a taste of the action.
Weekends at the Academy are typically busy with a variety of teams netting, or taking part in short-format cricket.
Newcomers can drop in to these sessions and meet a number of prospect teams at once.
Several teams use the facilities at CDA to run their weekly nets, taking advantage of the bowling machine (capable of delivering vicious snorters at 160 kmh, for those who like their pants stained) and the opportunity to practice fielding on the main pitch.
Again, most teams are happy to welcome newcomers, so turn up and you will get a bat, a bowl, and a chance to impress — or shatter the nearest windows — in good measure.
Alternatively, you can arrange private 1-on-1 coaching sessions.
These are a great way to improve your game, dust down the technique, or even learn it from scratch.
For more details on the Cricket Development Academy:
Bangkok Cricket Academy
11 Bangwaek Soi 36, Charansanitwong -13, Khwaeng Bang Waek, Khet Phasi Charoen, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10160
- Web: http://bangkokcricket.com/ (Redirects to owner Harinder Singh’s personal Facebook)
- Web: http://bca-sports.com/
- Facebook (BCA): https://www.facebook.com/BcaSportsComplex/
- Facebook (Indoor League): https://www.facebook.com/Bangkok-Indoor-cricket-league-123312217751400/
- Tel: 08 1812 6002
- Email: email@example.com
Another hugely popular cricket facility here in Thailand, the Bangkok Cricket Academy — run by Harinder Singh — has been a staple of cricket development in Thailand for several years now.
The BCA Sports Complex is actually a multi-sport academy with facilities for cricket, badminton and a basketball/volleyball court.
The indoor cricket arena plays host to the famous Indoor Bangkok Cricket League, which has been running for over 25 series and is always fiercely contested.
The indoor cricket provides a ‘fast and furious’ short-format of the game that is much loved by many of the local Bangkok-based teams.
It also allows for cricket throughout the calendar year, meaning rainy season doesn’t have to mark the end of the action.
Nets are held regularly at BCA, with various training programs available for both adults and kids.
Best way to get involved?
Contact Harinder (Harry) via Facebook or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buying Cricket Gear in Bangkok
Many of us first landed in Thailand with tightly packed suitcases that weren’t exactly ideal for shipping an entire cricket kit.
Likewise, most of the staff at sports malls in Bangkok will give you a blank stare if you ask for the “Gray-Nicolls section”, or try to explain the purpose of a box (serious business).
There aren’t too many places to buy cricket gear in Bangkok, but you can try:
Thailand Cricket Equipment Shop
A fairly new store just off the main Ekamai strip, this cricket shop has all of the essentials that you’d need to fill out a kit bag — including the kit bag itself, cricket shoes, and other training accessories.
Their website lists out most of the available stock.
Shop #2, 27/57 Empire House, Ekamai 12, Sukhumvit 63, Bangkok 10110
Phone: +66 2 713 2422
The CDA Shop
The Cricket Development Academy has a small shop on-site with a selection of bats, helmets, pads, gloves, training aids and balls.
Cricket Development Academy, Soi Sukhumvit 70/3, Bangkok, Thailand 10250
Phone: 087 030 2333
“Do I need to buy full kit to get started?”
No, probably not.
Most teams in Bangkok have club kit that their players will share for nets and games.
If you’re just testing the waters, you can get by on borrowed equipment.
The Standard of Cricket in Bangkok
It’s fair to say, Bangkok hosts a unique standard of club cricket.
On one hand you have a group of players seasoned enough to represent Thailand at international level.
On the other?
Village Cricket Purists.
Slingers of leg-side meat pies, serial run-out artistes, and some of the wildest sloggers never to have felt leather on willow.
The majority of teams are built around friendships and social ties, rather than batting averages or bowling economies.
The resulting playing standard is a healthy mix of the very good, the very ordinary, and those who were too hungover to make the minivan.
Just the way it should be!
If you are worried about “not being good enough”, or “too rusty”, or simply too physically broken to get across a cricket field — don’t worry.
Chances are, you won’t be alone.
If, however, you are used to playing a high standard of cricket, there are some genuinely competitive teams in the top tier of the Bangkok Cricket League.
It’s not just a game for expats, either.
There are plenty of young promising Thai players coming through the ranks (especially in the ladies teams), boding well for the future of the game here.
The cricket community here in Bangkok is friendly, active, and a great way to get acquainted with other expats.
Want to know more about playing cricket in Thailand?
Looking to join a nets session, book up some refresher lessons, or some training for the kids?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the clubs and academies listed above.
Most will be hungry for new players, no matter what your skill level.
Images courtesy of the Cricket Development Academy and BCA.