On July 22, Emerging Cricket broke the news that the Blitz was to be cancelled and the Sixes was also under threat. A week later and after 19 editions it appears the famous Sixes has been put out to pasture, with CHK intending to meet with franchise owners to discuss options regarding the future of the HK T20 Blitz.
Nazvi Careem of the South China Morning Post first reported the cancellation news, after speaking to Cricket Hong Kong Chairman Tony Melloy.
“The (Sixes) format was very successful in the ’90s and noughties. But given the really complex and congested cricket calendar, we need to stick to recognised formats,” Melloy told the renowned Hong Kong journalist.
“The Blitz was never off the table,” Melloy said. “I’m actually meeting with owners to have a discussion. It could well be on the table depending on whether we can fit it into the calendar and if there is the financial capability to do so.”
Melloy took over as CHK chairman from the longstanding Dr John Cribbin, who, alongside former President Rodney Miles, made way on the board last year after governance reforms brought in maximum terms lengths for Board Directors.
When asked if this year’s cancellation meant the end of the Hong Kong Sixes, Melloy said: “I personally think so but you can never say never.
“It has also been very difficult in the current economic climate to find sponsors to support the event,” said Melloy. “[Also], international countries are keen on playing recognised formats and not the Sixes.
“So, we have cancelled the Sixes and we are letting our stakeholders know.”
The Hong Kong Sixes launched in 1992 and excepting one edition played at the Hong Kong Stadium was hosted at Kowloon Cricket Club, who still refer to themselves as the ‘Home of the Sixes’, giving an indication as to the strength of the nostalgia for the event with some in the city. The tournament was dormant from 1997 until its first rebirth in 2001, and it then ran continuously until 2012. The event was relaunched in October 2017 for what now appears to have been the event’s swansong.
As originally reported by Emerging Cricket, and confirmed by Melloy, CHK had struggled to access government funding, an issue experienced over a number of years with previous attempts to holds the Sixes. Hong Kong government would now only look to support events linked to (ICC) ranking points, and/or in globally recognised formats, with the Sixes missing out on both accounts.