How we got here

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 November, 2010, 12:00am

1992 - It all begins. Cathay Pacific and Wharf put up HK$700,000 each and the Sixes is born with entrepreneurs Ken Catton and Papu Butani spearheading the event sanctioned by the Hong Kong Cricket Association. Pakistan win.

1993 - Mark Waugh, Aravinda de Silva, Wasim Akram, Mohammad Azharuddin, Clive Rice, Graham Gooch, Richie Richardson and Arjuna Ranatunga are some of the names signed up. England win the first of their five titles.

1996 - The tournament moves from Kowloon Cricket Club to the Hong Kong Stadium. The HKCA becomes equal partners with Catton and company. England, including Hong Kong's favourite son Dermot Reeve, are singing in the rain after winning again.

1997 - Fans go missing - 7,500 pass through the turnstiles but organisers reveal only 3,500 tickets are sold. Poor ticket sales mean co-partners face losses of more than HK$1 million. England's Adam Hollioake bowls a wide to give Pakistan victory.

2001 - An acrimonious split between the Cattons and the HKCA over who should bear losses in 1997 leaves the association in full control as the tournament resumes after the economic downturn with the ICC's blessings. The event returns to KCC. Wasim Akram bowls Pakistan to victory.

2003 - Welshman Robert Croft and England deny Pakistan a hat-trick of wins and prevent them from walking away with the bejewelled Butani Cup for keeps. Reeve, making a comeback for Hong Kong after two decades, finds the going tough.

2005 - Robin Singh is on song as India finally scale the Sixes summit. The Hong Kong coach steers India to victory over the West Indies. But his charges end at the bottom of the heap.

2007 - Shane Warne leads the All-Stars, packed with big guns like Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath and Anil Kumble. A sell-out demonstrates Hong Kong's love affair with high-profile athletes. Warne and Lara command appearance fees of US$50,000. But Sri Lanka gate-crash the party, as anonymity prevails over star power.

2008 - After the highs come the lows. With Cathay Pacific and Standard Chartered declining to continue as sponsors, the HKCA goes ahead boldly thanks to a multi-million-dollar fee from promoters Zero Friction the previous year. The government's M-Mark scheme pumps in HK$3 million but the HKCA has to write off HK$1.8 million.

2009 - The last-minute entry by Indian diamond merchants saves the tournament from being sponsorless again. Hong Kong have an unbeaten run to the Cup final before a last-ball six by Farhaan Behardien gives South Africa the prize.

2010 - It costs HK$8 million now to put on a successful tournament. After much debate, it is decided to go ahead this year. Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong are the only three sides not to have won the Cup. Will it be their year?