Unwilling to have Phuketians let down by such an anti-climactic event, The Phuket News has joined forces with the Island’s cricket and rugby organisations in order to present a genuine ‘ultimate showdown’ and a true battle for greatness, which will be held at the ACG on Saturday, June 28.
In this clash of sporting codes, the recent Strategic Sports Phuket 10s Rugby champions – the Phuket Vagabonds – will face off against a Phuket Cricket Group (PCG) World XI in both cricket and rugby matches . . . to be played on the same day!
While victory and bragging rights will be a focal point for the players, charitable organisations and sport will be the real winners. Monies raised from the event will be donated to the Asia Center Foundation (ACF), a local charity and NGO working with disadvantaged Thai and Burmese children, and to redevelop cricket facilities in Nepal following the country’s recent earthquake devastation.
Cricket Authority of Thailand (CAT) chief executive, Mohideen Kader, voiced his appreciation for Phuket’s effors to assist the people of Nepal. “The support being shown by the cricketing fraternity to donate to the cause we are familiar with is heart-warming. This indeed is the ‘Spirit of Cricket’”, he said.
Roelien Muller, director of the ACF, is very proud to be involved with the upcoming sports challenge. “ACF is honored to be part of this fund-raising event in aid of restoration work in Nepal, and we are very thankful for being included as a beneficiary.
“Sport plays a major part in building bridges between countries, and contributes toward psychological and physical health. We hope that assisting the restoration of cricket facilities in Nepal will serve as one more stepping stone towards re-building the many lives affected by this disaster,” Roelien said.
Following their success at the recent Phuket International Rugby 10s, victorious captain Darryn Mathee issued a fair warning to his cricket counterparts. “The Vagabonds are definitely looking forward to this challenge and will not back down easily on the cricket pitch. We will give the cricket team a great game and make them fight for victory in their own sporting code.”
Offering his views on the challenge ahead, David Thomas of the PCG said, “The idea of a game against the Phuket Vagabonds came about after their [Vagabonds] heroic effort to win the Strategic Sports Phuket International Rugby 10s tournament last month. We know how the Vagabonds enjoy a challenge, and let’s face it, there is no bigger challenge than playing the PCG at the ACG, is there?
“With both sports enjoying such success lately, we thought it was a great opportunity to promote both cricket and rugby on Phuket and hopefully, encourage more people to take part. In the ACG, we have one of the best facilities in S.E. Asia.”
Dave added “There are still many people who are not aware of this facility that’s right on their doorstep, so by hosting this event we hope to raise awareness of the ground. At the same time, we want to raise much needed money for two worthwhile causes.”
The cricket match will be played under T20 format, with many of the Vagabond’s rugby team having a background in this the pinnacle of gentlemanly pursuits.
However, the rugby challenge will take place under a 10-a-side touch format due to a fewer number of cricketers with rugby playing experience.
But the sports extravaganza does not end there! Once the testosterone-fuelled event has concluded, the ladies will also take to the park, with the wives and girlfriends of the rugby and cricket squads showing off their own rugby skills.
If you are a sports fan, then this is an event not to be missed – a day for all the family, with a wonderful array of food, drinks and entertainment to be enjoyed.
Entrance is 100 baht for adults – children enter at no cost.
Pick up an edition of next week’s The Phuket News (June 19 issue) for a final schedule, lineups and news on the genuine sporting showdown of our generation!