ICC T20 World Cup 2020 will witness a new team in the circuit – Thailand cricket team.
If you are a follower of women’s cricket, then you wouldn’t be as the Thailand cricket team has stamped authority in the world cricket so far. However, this was not all of a sudden. 2019 saw the rise of Thailand, leads by Sornnarin Tippoch – one of the key players since 2007 alongside Nattaya Boochatham.
The Thailand cricket team qualified for the mega event after registering a record-breaking 17-match win. Their win came on the back of a few experienced players in their squad who have been playing for long. Apart from that, they have two uncapped players – Phannita Maya and Suwanan Khiaoto.
The Thailand cricket team boasts of a strong spin battery that features a variety of off-spinners – Sornnarin Tippoch, Nattaya Boochatham, Wongpaka Liengprasert, and Onnicha Kamchomphu. That said, they have a leg spinner and a quality one at that in Suleeporn Laomi as also in Soraya Lateh.
In this wide variety of spinners, they have two front line pace bowlers in Chanida Sutthiruang and Ratanaporn Padunglerd, the former already rising as a headlining material whenever the phrase Thailand cricket team is discussed globally.
Moreover, Sutthiruang was named the 2019 ICC Women’s Emerging Player of the Year. What a mighty feat for someone whose name perhaps not many around the world following this great sport can pronounce with considerable ease?
The smiling assassin with the white ball also bagged 12 wickets during the Qualifiers and finished as the “Player of the Tournament” last year: a special feat that helped Thailand win the tournament and cement their place in the World T20 that begins shortly.
However, their batting is their weak point. Weakness in this area could spell disaster for any side, this being a format that’s about big shots and strikingly good-looking strokes.
Although the Thailand cricket team consists of a strong opening pair, their middle order is comparatively weak.
But, wait! All’s not lost. Both Naruemol Chaiwai and Nattakan Chantham have been in a good form and also finished 2019 as the top two T20I run-getters with 517 and 498 runs, respectively.
With this nearly balanced squad, can Thailand overcome all their odds and register at least one win in their maiden T20 World Cup appearance?
So far, in their 35-match history, they have played against Bangladesh four times, and India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka once each as well. And, they have defeated only Sri Lanka, while they’ve never played against England, West Indies or South Africa, who are placed in the same group.
Captain Sornnarin Tippoch recently said, “We are playing two champions in England and the West Indies early on but we will treat them like any other game where we try to execute and implement our plans to the best of our abilities. We will approach all games with confidence and trusting our preparations. We haven’t seen too much of the other teams apart from watching them in videos – but every time we have, it’s always been in our dreams to be able to play them someday.”
May the day belong to the one who perseveres. Regardless of the outcome, one reckons, the World T20 2020 shall be a huge learning curve for this enterprising cricket side from the East.
Squad: Sornnarin Tippoch (C), Nattaya Boochatham, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Naruemol Chaiwai, Chanida Sutthiruang, Nannapat Koncharoenkai, Soraya Lateh, Rosenanee Kanoh, Thipatcha Puttawong, Suleeporn Laomi, Natthakan Chantham, Suwanan Khiaoto
Team record: Matches: 35 | Won: 25 | Lost: 10
Highest total: 8-133 vs the Netherlands in 2019
Lowest total (completed innings): 8-60 vs Bangladesh in Kuala Lumpur 2018
ICC T20 ranking: 11th
Recent results: LLWLWLLLWW
February 22 vs West Indies – Match 1
February 26 vs England – Match 2
February 28 vs South Africa – Match 3
March 3 vs Pakistan – Match 4