Howzat: Hong Kong Cricket Sixes will return in 2017 as part of grand rebranding plan
HKCA is looking to secure a major sponsor to ensure the long-term future of the event, which has not been staged since South Africa won the tournament in 2012
The Hong Kong Sixes will be back, but fans will have to wait until next year before the popular tournament returns to the local calendar after four years in the wilderness.
The Hong Kong Cricket Association announced on Wednesday that the tournament will be held in 2017, although there was no mention of whether or not the government’s Mega Events Fund was to help finance the event.
The MEF has been in talks with the HKCA over the past few months and a deal was about to be sealed two months ago. However, it is understood the cricket body faced certain restrictions.
The HKCA later said that it was looking at concluding a deal with a major sponsor in order to ensure the long-term future of the event.
The return of the Sixes is part of the association’s new four-year strategic plan that also involves a comprehensive rebranding of the body.
“The last 18 months has been a transformational period for Hong Kong cricket’s development,” said HKCA chairman Mike Walsh.
“We have now had our first ever chief executive officer in place for over a year, and we will shortly release a new four-year strategic plan, which includes an exciting new brand for the sport in Hong Kong.
“Many exciting projects are already under way that align with the plan’s strategic goals including our new facility’s development at Gin Drinkers Bay, governance reform, and especially our local development projects, including the Chinese-focused Junior Cricket Sixes.
“A major goal of the strategy is to ignite a passion for cricket here in Hong Kong and, in line with this goal, we are very happy to confirm the Hong Kong Sixes will be back in 2017.”
Blitz is back – fifth franchise for Hong Kong T20 spectacle, change of dates and possibly Michael Clarke again
The return of the Sixes means Hong Kong will stage two big international tournaments in 2017 with the second T20 Blitz slated for early next year. The dates and venue for the Sixes have yet to be finalised.
“This is an exciting announcement. We have already shown the potential for cricket events here in the past and the return of the Sixes in 2017 will complement the second edition of the Hong Kong T20 Blitz,” said HKCA chief executive Tim Cutler.
“After considering a number of proposals and formats for a possible event in 2016 it has been decided to concentrate the association’s resources on an operational plan that delivers on other priority projects that require our full attention this year.
“With those key initiatives bedded down, it will give our marketing and commercial team greater opportunity to deliver a bigger, better Blitz than what was held during its inaugural iteration in May this year and a world-class Sixes event that will again capture the world’s attention, later in 2017.”