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Cricket Hong Kong

Hong Kong Sixes to go digital – organisers have big plans to engage cricket fans

The tournament is set to be revived after a five-year absence and will be held in October at Kowloon Cricket Club

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 June, 2017, 5:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 June, 2017, 12:01am

Cricket Hong Kong is ready to give fans a brand new Sixes experience by embracing digital technology, with the popular tournament set to be revived in October.

The Hong Kong Sixes, featuring top national teams playing in a six-a-side competition, has been off the local calendar since the 2012 event because of a lack of finance.

However, Cricket Hong Kong is not only keen to bring the tournament back to life, but also want to change the way fans in Hong Kong, and abroad, engage with the tournament, and it means Hong Kong will stage two major tournaments this year following March’s Hong Kong T20 Blitz.

“It’s looking positive and we hope to have an announcement in the next couple of weeks,” said Max Abbott, Cricket Hong Kong’s marketing and commercial director.

“The Sixes brand is still very strong in Hong Kong, but we just need to take stock after the success of the Blitz to assess what our best strategy is.

“A lot’s changed since 2012, so if we bring it back it won’t just be for the sake of nostalgia, we are looking at ways we can innovate and take the event forward.”

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The Hong Kong Sixes are scheduled to be held from October 28-29, with Kowloon Cricket Club the proposed venue.

The second edition of the Blitz was successful beyond expectations in terms of popularity with online streaming of the five-day tournament attracting close to 12 million views worldwide via Facebook and Youtube.

Cricket Hong Kong is hoping that the Sixes, which has become familiar with global fans, can exploit the expanding digital market.

“I don’t want to say too much at this stage but if we do it – we will want to give fans watching at home and at the ground a new experience. The Sixes format allows us to experiment and push the boundaries,” said Abbott.

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When asked how they would innovate, he replied: “Across the board really, but particularly in terms of how people watch and engage with the matches in the digital space.”

Cricket Hong Kong was intending to bring the Sixes back in 2016, but plans were eventually cancelled.

The inaugural Hong Kong Sixes was held in 1992 and there have been a total of 18 editions with a break of four years between 1997 and 2001.