The competitive socialising venue is gearing up for the biggest rivalry in cricket
If everything falls into place this winter and Joe Root’s England reclaim The Ashes, there will not be many better venues to enjoy the series than at
For not only can customers watch the action live on BT Sport at the company’s three sites – two in London, one in Manchester, plus another on the way in Birmingham – but they can also replicate the feeling of bat on ball in the venue’s hi-tech cricket nets.
Sixes is the latest in the ever-increasingly popular trend of competitive socialising.
While concepts such as Flight Club have brought darts to a new audience, and many more have done the same with miniature golf, the Sixes crew are putting cricket firmly in the middle.
Roxy Chreptowicz, head of reservations and events at Sixes, explains: “The mission is to bring people together through cricket and social entertainment. Hospitality is changing, especially after the pandemic.
“People want something more from their socialising rather than just drinking and food and that is where the cricket comes in.
Nobody needs to bring any kit to Sixes to have a slog. Bats and soft balls are provided and players take it in turns to face the computerised bowling machine that can be set at varying levels of difficulty.
The challenge is to score as many runs as possible and, if you’ve got the shots, try to hit and illuminate the ‘6’ targets in the nets.
You don’t need to be the next Jos Buttler to have a go, though that England ace has visited a Sixes site. As Roxy explains, the game is designed for all.
“We are trying to attract people who are maybe not big cricket fans but we are showing them that cricket is for everyone. We want everyone to feel welcome and to have ago. We invite children and complete novices to play. We want to show it is a very, very approachable sport.
“You can start as amateur, then beginner, club level and professional and as you progress you can increase your level which increases the speed of the ball.
Of course, one of the delights of cricket is that it’s a sport where not only the fans, but players also get to enjoy lunch and tea.
Fittingly, Sixes puts a lot of work into its menu, which it believes sets it apart from other competitive socialising concepts.
Sixes owners Andy Waugh and Calum Mackinnon are also behind London’s Mac & Wild restaurant (based near the Fitzrovia Sixes site) so it’s little surprise that so much emphasis is placed on the menu.
“Cricket is a social sport and it should be for everyone - that’s what we aim to showcase. Whether you're a complete beginner or seasoned pro, anyone can test their skills and have a great time playing different challenges. It's easy to play but beware, it does get very competitive”, adds Roxy.
“The sport is quintessentially British, and so is our menu. It's inspired by the greatest elements of BBQ culture, served alongside delicious beers and cocktails. We like to think that people can come to Sixes for fantastic hospitality and a lovely dining experience, and playing cricket is a bonus!”
And that experience is set to grow across the country, with Sixes planning on adding more sites beyond the Birmingham one due to open before Christmas.
It should be a fantastic experience for either the early risers or the nightwatchmen (and women) with The Ashes this winter.
Every ball will be live on BT Sport, with the first test starting on December 8th.
If you fancy putting on one of the greatest rivalries in sport at your venue, put these dates in your diary:
First Test: 8-12 December - Gabba, from midnight
Second Test: 16-20 December - Adelaide Oval, 4am
Third Test: 26-30 December - MCG, 11.30pm, 25 December
Fourth Test: 5-9 January - SCG, 11.30pm, 4 January
Fifth Test: 14-18 January - Optus Stadium, 2.30am