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TRIP OF A LIFETIME FOR THAILAND'S WOMEN



Thailand women’s cricket team have said their farewells in Bangkok and are heading to Ireland on an exciting journey to take part in the qualifying competition for the next Women’s World Twenty20. The Thailand team’s last week of preparation in Chiang Mai saw them meet up with ACC Development Officer Venkatapathi Raju who gave them as much last minute advice as he could. “They’re in good shape, have a good attitude and will impress a lot of people,” says the former Indian international.

Since their epic victory against China in the ACC Women’s Championship in January to reach this World Twenty20 Qualifier the very same squad have stayed together to gain as much practice as possible, playing against the men in the Bangkok Cricket League and tirelessly practising in the nets. For the last month they have been in a training camp in Chiang Mai and played several matches against a boys team which they won and faced harder contests against a team made up of players from the Chiang Mai Senior League.

“The move up to the world stage is going to be tough but the girls have clearly improved over the past nine months and are going to be tough to beat,” says Venkatapathi Raju. Prior to their ACC Women’s Championship win Thailand took part in the ACC Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in Guangzhou and though they struggled with the bat against India and Pakistan, did well in the field throughout. In Ireland this month they will warm-up for their WorldTwenty20 qualifying campaign with matches against Scotland and Canada soon after they arrive in Ireland. Thailand will play a minimum of six matches in nine days during their time in Ireland. The other group is made up of Sri Lanka, who beat England and India during the last Women’s World Cup, along with hosts Ireland, Canada and Japan, and after the initial group stages the teams will be divided into Super Four and Plate competitions.

Athleticism and safe hands are a feature of Thailand’s women
Pictures by Danny Bowes

During the ICC Annual Conference in June, it was decided to increase the number of qualifiers from the Ireland event from one to three, thus increasing Thailand’s chances. The last day of the competition on 31st July will see the teams play off for their final positions, with the two finalists and the winner of the third place play-off qualifying for the World T20 in Bangladesh next year. If Thailand can win a match early in the tournament and reach the Super Four, a place in the World T20 competition, a ranking in the world’s top ten, could be within their reach.

Winners, 2013 ACC Women’s Championship

Win or lose in the tournament in Ireland the girls deserve to enjoy the trip of a lifetime, and their participation in an ICC competition of this standard shows how far Thailand women’s cricket has already come in the past year, and particularly since cricket was introduced to women by the Cricket Association of Thailand in 2007 .

Thailand squad:

Sornnarin Tippoch (captain), Nattaya Boochatham, Nanthanit Khonchan, Pundarika Prathanmitr, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Nattakan Chantham, Chanida Sutthiruang, Sainnamin Saenya, Phira-On Khamla, Naruemol Chaiwai, Rattana Sangsoma, Premwadee Doungsin, Sirintra Saengsakaorat

ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013

Fixtures

23 July Thailand v Pakistan in Dublin
25 July Thailand v Netherlands in Dublin
27 July Thailand v Zimbabwe in Dublin
29 July Super Four and Shield matches
31 July Final & Play-off matches

Related:
Thailand Cricket Profile

Filed July 18th, 2013



 
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