Singapore’s captain Diviya GK leads the applause for the opposition

The Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) are hosting the SCA International Women’s Cricket Challenge. Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand have sent national squad players for the round-robin Twenty20 matches, with ‘Cricket Without Borders’ a team from Australia joining the hosts in the five-team tournament. “This is excellent preparation for the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in October,” says Cricket Association of Thailand CEO Mohideen Kader.

Thailand, along with Hong Kong have sent a development team to play in the event, “the main benefits are that we get a chance to assess the girls in match conditions. Getting them decent matches is a problem and in Singapore, with Asian Games bronze medallists Japan and the Australian team, we’ll have a good chance of developing some talent,” says Mr. Kader.

Hong Kong’s coach Charlie Burke, fresh from a High Performance camp in India with his country’s elite women (from whom Keenu Gill and Mariko Hill are in Singapore), has been extremely happy with his squad’s commitment and work-rate in Singapore. “It’s not just about winning at this stage, it’s about getting ready for what will be one of the biggest events the girls will ever be playing in, the Asia Cup in Guangzhou.”

The continuation of a great rivalry, China v Thailand at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games
Singapore are simply providing local transport and match-meals for the players; airfares, accommodation and allowances are all being provided by the visiting associations. Women’s cricket is increasingly competitive across the Asian region. Japan in the East Asia/Pacific region are the next rung above them at present, and in turn are nearest to the Asian Test-playing countries in performance. A relatively small tournament such as this plays a major part in allowing coaches and managers a chance to judge the standings of their respective squads. And in a developing world, the new women are closer to the performance of the old than they are in the world of the men. “To the national sports authorities whether you’re a man or a woman doesn’t matter. They will support winners irrespective of sport or gender. Its winners they want and winners who receive funding and facilities,” says Hong Kong Cricket Association General Manager Danny Lai.

“After this tournament the girls will join a central camp after the monsoon season of Thailand and then hopefully we’ll send them to play some High Performance games in India before we send them to Guangzhou, for what will be one of the biggest tournaments of their career,” says Thailand’s Chief Executive.

ACC U-19 Women’s Championship 2012
ACC Women’s Twenty20 Championship 2011
Asian Games 2010

Filed July 3rd, 2012