Thailand women’s cricket team created history when they defeated Papua New Guinea to reach the semifinals of World Cup Qualifier and hence made a spot available for themselves in the upcoming 2020 ICC T20 Women’s World Cup along with Bangladesh. It was a big moment for the players and the people in Thailand, but to everyone’s surprise it called for a celebration in Hyderabad as well, as two of the coaches who were once associated with the team, former Test left-arm spinner SL Venkatapathy Raju and Vidyut Jaisimha are from Hyderabad, who played cricket for the state.
Proud of the team and their achievements Jaisimha said to Telangana Today, “It is really an amazing feat. Naturally, Raju and I feel proud as we coached the team from a very nascent stage. When I was given this challenging assignment in 2014, it was absolutely a raw team. I was the national coach for one year, where I taught the basics. The captain and vice-captain were between 13 to 14 years.”
Jaisimha reminisced about the brief duration when he was the one in charge and went on to say, “Sometimes there were seven players on any given day as a lot of them had to go to school. It was on weekends that I had a full team of 14 players. It was an interesting and challenging assignment. Since they hardly knew English, we communicated through sign language and they were quite receptive. All worked very hard and went through a rigorous fitness regimen. Today, 10 of the cricketers who started in 2014 are the backbone of the team.”
We wish them all the luck for the big tournament that 2020 ICC T20 Women’s World Cup is.