Hong Kong Sixes 2.0 – cricket-fest to make hi-tech, explosive return in October, organisers say
Cricket Hong Kong says the reborn tournament will be the most innovative in the world as it returns to the calendar after five years
Sixes 2.0 is how Cricket Hong Kong is rebranding the popular tournament, which finally returns to the calendar after five years and whose reincarnation will reflect the new digital and social media universe into which it is being reborn.
The governing body on Wednesday confirmed that the Hong Kong Sixes will be held this year, on October 28 and 29 at the Kowloon Cricket Club – a welcome boost for the local game after several years of false starts in which the tournament’s return was halted by a lack of financial backing.
“Everyone in the cricket community in Hong Kong is delighted to have the Sixes confirmed as being back on our calendar,” Cricket Hong Kong Director Jonathan Cummings said.
“We love what the Sixes was and are passionate about bringing the best bits with us, but we won’t be satisfied putting on the same show as in 2012.
“This will be the Sixes 2.0 and over time, we want to make this the most hi-tech, innovative cricket tournament in the world. The emergence of Twenty20 leagues around the world is great. but this is an opportunity to create a different experience for cricket lovers and to engage new fans to the sport.
“It’s a format where we aren’t bound by the traditional rules of the game, so we will design everything to provide maximum entertainment value and engagement.”
The revival of the Sixes means Hong Kong will have two major international tournaments a year, with the annual Hong Kong T20 Blitz, featuring five franchise teams, being held in March and attracting almost 12 million online views through Facebook and YouTube.
Cricket Hong Kong hopes to better those figures with the Sixes, which is likely to feature eight national teams who will be confirmed later.
They are also hoping that the action-packed format will help to attract new cricket fans to the game in Hong Kong.
“We see the Sixes as a key cog in our local engagement strategy,” Cummings said. “We’ve already launched the Junior Cricket Sixes into local schools and we look forward to connecting that programme with the October event.
“Anyone can enjoy Sixes cricket, lots of big hits and great entertainment with no breaks, so you don’t need to have grown up loving the game to enjoy it. We think it has a role to play within the region in promoting the sport.”
Although Hong Kong has a dedicated one-day ground at Mission Road, KCC is the appropriate venue for the Sixes and has been its traditional home for all but one of the previous Sixes tournaments from 1992 to 2012. The club is expected to provided seating for up to 2,000 spectators each day.
“We are looking forward to have the International Cricket Sixes back at Kowloon Cricket Club,” said Kowloon Cricket Club President David Brettell.
“It is hoped that the return of the Cricket Sixes will fill the niche market for the shorter form of the game in Hong Kong of which the Sixes has previously been the showpiece. KCC is in full support of Cricket Hong Kong’s efforts to reinstate the event.
“We are delighted to welcome back the Sixes to the KCC and we are excited to be partnering with Cricket Hong Kong in their endeavour to bring a world class sporting event to Hong Kong”.
“We’d like to extend our thanks to Kowloon Cricket Club,” Cummings said.
“The venue is perfect for Sixes cricket and they have the experience in providing world class hospitality and service and will host spectators to an outstanding weekend.”
“We can’t wait for October to come around and call on the cricket community to get behind us. We’ve got two big events a year now and we’re very excited about the impact this can have on promoting the game in Hong Kong”