Cricket as a sport in general has struggled to widen its reach. It has been the case even with men’s cricket where more and more teams are actually starting to play the sport. And then when you think about the Thailand Women’s Team, a South-East Asian country making it into the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, anyone would take a minute to appreciate this fairytale of a story.
Although Thailand did make a huge impression in the 2018 Women’s Asia Cup by beating a formidable team like Sri Lanka, the rising nation wouldn’t have even dreamt of making this year’s World Cup in Australia. However, constant progress saw them win a quadrangular series which included the likes of Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands just before the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier.
And then when the important Qualifier tournament came up, Thailand were at their very best to top their group, After this, there was just one step to make a dream come true and Thailand crossed it comfortably by beating Papua New Guinea in the second semi-final. Although Thailand went onto lose the final against Bangladesh by a big margin, Thailand had qualified for the World Cup and also underlined their potential.
Coming to the tournament proper which is set to begin in a few days’ time, Thailand might be having to step into unchartered territory but they will be raring to impress on the global stage. Thailand will also get an early taste of what they will be facing in the next couple of weeks when they take on Bangladesh and New Zealand in two warm-up games on 16th and 19th February respectively.
No matter how they perform, be rest assured that you will get some beaming smiles to go along with folded hands and also the promise to come back and compete at this level time and again.
Coaching & Support Staff:
Head Coach: Harshal Pathak
Manager: Shan Kader
Previous Edition: First Appearance
Best Finish: First Appearance
Thailand Women’s Team Overview
Thailand are a youthful team mixed with a lot of experience and one can expect them to give their very best on the field. Recently, the team featured in a number of matches against ACT Meteors, NSW Breakers in Australia apart from also taking part in a quadrangular series which involved India A, India B and Bangladesh. These fixtures included wins over ACT Meteors, NSW Breakers and also India A with these results giving hope of some competitive performances during the T20 World Cup.
Thailand have some talented individual performers in the form of Nattakan Chantam and Chanida Sutthiruang who could potentially help them in causing an upset. Like most up and coming sides, Thailand also have an energetic side who will bowl and field pretty well.
Also, the team has the advantage of being a tight-knit group who have played cricket for a considerable period of time. Further, the above-mentioned experience of playing cricket in Australia would come come handy while playing in the T20 World Cup.
To start off, the lack of experience at the highest level and the minimal opportunities to play against the world’s best cricketers could handicap them. Apart from intangible aspects like this, the team’s depth with both the bowling and batting departments would be a cause of concern. For context, Thailand’s scores of 53 and 45 against India A and India B respectively reflect the team’s frailties with the bat.
When it comes to their bowling too, Thailand with the exception of key cogs like Chanida Sutthiruang, Somnarin Tippoch and Suleeporn Laomi could struggle against some powerful batters and big Australian outfields that the team would be encountering in the next few weeks.
Key Players for Thailand Women’s Team
Nattakan Chantam: A very elegant batter, right-handed opening batswoman Nattakan Chantam would hold the responsibility of coming up with big knocks. Chantam is especially useful during the powerplay overs as she tends to find the gaps inside the ring with efficiency. The 24-year-old also seemed in solid touch during the Quadrangular series in India with 82(71) against India A and 60(60) against Bangladesh. She could open the batting with either Nattaya Boochatham or Naruemol Chaiwai and Thailand will be hoping for some good starts from them.
Chanida Sutthiruang: The ‘ICC Emerging Player of the Year’ award recipient, Chanida Sutthiruang will be Thailand’s main strike-player. The medium pacer’s strength would be her ability to bowl banana inswingers which troubled quite a few teams during the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers last year. In that tournament, Sutthiruang picked up 12 scalps in five matches at an economy rate of 4.16. If her bowling ability isn’t enough on its own, Sutthiruang can also add some vital runs while batting in the middle-order.
Thailand Women’s Squad
Sornnarin Tippoch (C), Nattaya Boochatham, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Naruemol Chaiwai, Chanida Sutthiruang, Nannapat Koncharoenkai (WK), Soraya Lateh, Rosenanee Kanoh, Thipatcha Puttawong, Suleeporn Laomi, Natthakan Chantham, Suwanan Khiaoto
February 22 v West Indies, WACA Ground, 11.30 AM IST
February 26 v England, Manuka Oval, 8.30 AM IST
February 28 v South Africa, Manuka Oval, 8.30 AM IST
March 3 v Pakistan, Sydney Showgrounds, 8.30 AM IST