This year’s World T20 is dominated by Asian countries as we have five out of ten participants from Asia. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are joined by Thailand who will play its first-ever T20 World Cup.
Over the last six occasions, Thailand failed to make it to the World Cup.
|2009||England||Did not enter|
|2010||West Indies||Did not enter|
|2012||Sri Lanka||Did not enter|
|2014||Bangladesh||Did not enter|
|2016||India||Did not enter|
|2018||West Indies||Did not enter|
This year, Thailand will look to make the most of the opportunity in hand and will strive to pose a tough fight to its opposition.
On January 29, Cricket Association of Thailand (CAT) announced the 15-member squad that will be traveling Down Under to play the mega ICC event.
The squad is as follows: Sornnarin Tippoch (captain), Nattaya Boochatham, Naruemol Chaiwai, Nattakan Chantam, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Rosenan Kanoh, Suwanan Khiaoto, Nannapat Koncharoenkai (wicket-keeper), Suleeporn Laomi, Soraya Lateh, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Thipatcha Putthawong, Chanida Sutthiruang
Since it is their first World T20, the biggest strength of this team is that they have nothing to lose which gives them the license to go out there and express themselves, enjoy the game, and play fearless cricket.
What could be the other strengths and possible weaknesses of team Thailand? Let us have a look.
10 out of the 15 players in the squad have played more than 30 T20Is. This means that the majority of the players in the dressing room will have some experience going into the World T20. Naruemol Chaiwai and Nattakan Chantam, who have two T20I half-centuries each, will look to shoulder the batting responsibility. Giving them support would be southpaw duo of skipper Sornnarin Tippoch and Nattaya Boochatham, both having one T20I 50 apiece. Wicket-keeper Nannapat Kocharoenkai is more than handy with the bat as well.
From the bowling angle, Thailand boasts of a good mix of pace and spin. Quick bowler Chanida Suthiruang and leggie Suleeporm Naomi are the most experienced of the lot with 35 T20Is each. Thailand will strive to bowl well in tandem and will look to ramp up the opposition with their tight bowling.
With respect to fielding, on paper, the side looks a decent outfit as they have good young players who are quick and agile.
The biggest weakness could be the lack of experience of playing at an ICC T20 event. All said and done, how much ever you put in the hard yards at the nets or in any bilateral series, the pressure of playing in a mega tournament like a World Cup is altogether a different ball game. The team will have to wear their heart on the sleeves and play out of their skins to make a mark in this World Cup.
Since the team has not played enough cricket to comment on their weaknesses, plausibly we can highlight them as and when the tourney progresses.
2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup – Thailand
February 16: Thailand v Bangladesh
February 19: Thailand v New Zealand
February 22: Thailand v West Indies
February 26: Thailand v England
February 28: Thailand v South Africa
March 03: Thailand v Pakistan
March 5: Semi-final 1, SCG
March 5: Semi-final 2, SCG
March 8: Final, MCG
This column first appeared on the International Cricket Council website.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.