Since 2013, the international women’s team of Thailand has been present every year in the qualifying rounds for the ICCT20 World Cup. This year they are performing brilliantly, and there is only one game left to win, for them to make it to the World Cup, due take place next year in Australia. Considering the short history of cricket in this country, it is an extraordinary journey of immaculate success for these women.
In Thailand, cricket has mostly been played by expats from abroad. In 2007, the new CEO of the Association of Cricket in Thailand, Mohideen Kader, has gone to great lengths to introduce the sport to the local communities to recruit young Thai players for the team. This effort to increase the popularity of the competition was further expanded during 2008; then the local government recognized cricket as an official sport of the country. Today cricket is being played throughout the entire country and has teams in all 14 provinces representing the age groups U15, U19 as well as both a male and female teams in the senior league.
Captaining the Thai Team
In the position of captain of the Thailand Women’s team is Sornnarin Tippoch. Tippoch came from a softball background when she was introduced to cricket during the 2007 drive to expand the sport. At that stage, she was already 20 years old, which would be considered as rather late by most, yet this didn’t stop her. Merely one year later she was leading the Thai team as captain. Tippoch’s career is a classic example of how the sport expanded in Thailand. She immediately loved the game, and since she felt that it was relatively much like softball, the switch over happened smoothly for her. She also soon realized that cricket might be a much better opportunity for her to represent her country on a professional level.
Growing As a Team
The team has been performing well enough every year to make it to the qualifying rounds, but during 2018 Harshal Pathak was employed as the new coach to the side, and since then their performance excelled. Some of the highlights which they managed to achieve are not only having four bowlers on their team with a record low of bowling averages of less than 500 balls, but also a record winning streak of 17 matches and winning the quadrangular series against Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland. This left them at the top of their group in the ICC T20 World Qualifiers. Pathak stated that when he joined, the team was already there with so much talent and ability, the only thing which he needed to provide was the right direction for them to follow and to get them there. He worked with them on improving their consistency as well as specific technical aspects of their game, and the results are showing.