We read with some trepidation that European scientists are trying to re-enact the conditions of the Big Bang, which in theory was the massive explosion that created the universe billions of years ago. They needn't have bothered building their elaborate particle-smashing machine, which cost about GBP5 billion (HK$69 billion), to unlock the secrets of the universe and its origins. They should have just asked the organisers of the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes for a helping hand. The Sixes administrators are experts in going back in time. The organisers of the two-day tournament announced this week they have resurrected an eight-team format, which was last used in 2005, for this year's tournament. It is not the first time they have gone back to the past. They did it in 2006 when they dropped the eight-team format and reverted to a nine-team set-up used in the 1990s. Now here's another change of mind and it is back to eight teams again. The reason for the latest switch, according to tournament director Mark Burns, was 'more matches, more competition and more appeal to players and fans alike'. Can't find fault with that reasoning. The trouble is the timing of the announcement which, coming less than two months before this year's tournament, smacks of panic stations. It stems from the fact that organisers have still not unearthed a title sponsor to take the place of blue-chip companies Cathay Pacific and Standard Chartered who pulled out earlier this year. Times are hard. Finding a corporate sponsor with deep pockets is not easy these days. In April, soon after Burns was appointed as a full-time tournament director, he announced on the HKCA website that all the overseas national boards (eight) involved last year had accepted invitations to take part and would join the All Stars and Hong Kong in a 10-team tournament. But now a hasty rethink has been required. This year has been an annus horribilis for the Sixes. They picked players - Inzamam ul-Haq and Damien Martyn - who were later declared persona non grata due to their connections with the unofficial Indian Cricket League. And now they are being forced to cut corners. But, true to one of the great arts of the game, a positive spin had to be imparted. So why not go back in time and resurrect the old format and say it is for the good of the tournament - conveniently forgetting that it had previously been discarded with the idea of making room for more teams and thus more entertainment. Instead of trying to dredge up old standards, what Hong Kong should look at is the feasibility of a completely new make-up. Why not discard Sixes and go for the current rage - Twenty20? Darren Tucker, HKCA chairman, says that it's on the agenda and that they are looking at the options of having a Twenty20 event 'but not to the detriment of the Sixes'. Is this misplaced loyalty? Can Hong Kong afford to have two international events every year? The Sixes has apparently had its day in the sun. Hong Kong might have got 'official recognition' from the International Cricket Council but the world governing body is only providing lip service. The original hope was that ICC backing would result in all the test-playing boards sending fully sanctioned teams, inclusive of some big-name players. But this scenario hasn't materialised due to the crowded international calendar. Even if a country didn't have any commitments, they rarely sent their marquee players, preferring them to have a rest rather than take part in Hong Kong. Other than Pakistan - who in 2001 were led by sultan of swing Wasim Akram when he was still playing test cricket - the various boards have never sent squads with current test or one-day stars. Usually it has been either players whose careers are over or fresh faces who have still not made their mark. The ICC backing hasn't worked for the Hong Kong Sixes. We have to recognise this fact. The ICC is a toothless body, unable to stamp its authority on the individual boards. The Hong Kong Sixes should look at reinventing itself and seriously consider staging a Twenty20 tournament. Of course, we would need a bigger ground than the stamp-sized KCC - Mission Road could be a venue until officials can convince the government to give them something bigger on a permanent basis. The HKCA should also look at floodlighting the ground, which would allow for a four-team, round-robin format competition over three days with the winners meeting in the final. Getting the best national teams is out of the question. Why not go for an East v West scenario - the best two English county sides against the best two from the Indian Premier League. The powerful Indian Cricket Board would have to be brought onside, but isn't it worth taking a gamble and going for broke? Hong Kong should seriously consider this option before it is too late. Before other hungry city-states like Dubai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi etc decide to offer themselves as offshore venues for the IPL. And this is bound to happen sooner or later. The decision by the Asian Cricket Council and the ICC not to back the sixes version - they turned down the recent proposal by the organisers of the failed iSixes to run a world circuit - is probably an indication that it has lost its lustre. A bigger and truer sign is the lack of sponsor support which has already hit home.