In a statement of intent ahead of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Thailand will tour South Africa and Zimbabwe in the coming month.
Thailand will arrive in Harare on the 15th of August where they will play four one-day matches and three T20Is against Zimbabwe. The visiting side will then move on to Potchefstroom, where they will play five one-day matches and three T20s against a South Africa Emerging XI.
The Cricket Association of Thailand (CAT) is making a significant investment in the team’s success by organising the month-long tour in the context of the pandemic, but there is a sense of optimism that it will pay off.
Head Coach, Harshal Pathak told Emerging Cricket ‘the biggest benefit of this tour for us is that we will be able to gain valuable experience of playing the 50 and 20-over formats against an international team like Zimbabwe in their backyard, and a strong South Africa Emerging team in South African conditions where any visiting side will be tested.’
‘[The tour] will also test our overall skills, which we have been working hard on after the T20 World Cup. This tour is ideal preparation ahead of the upcoming 50-Over Global Qualifiers in November 2021.’
Thailand Captain Naruemol Chaiwai believes that familiarity with the conditions in Zimbabwe will give the Thais an advantage in the Qualifier. She told Emerging Cricket ‘with Zimbabwe now hosting the Global Qualifiers, I think it is a great opportunity for us to gauge the conditions and learn to adapt and prepare ourselves for when they roll around.’
The tour will be the first opportunity for Chaiwai and Nannapat Khoncharoekrai to lead the side as captain and vice-captain respectively. Sornnarin Tippoch keeps her place in the team as a senior all-rounder.
The touring squad contains two changes from the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, with seamer Aphisara Suwanchonrathi and off-spinning all-rounder Sunida Chaturongrattana replacing Soraya Lateh and Suwanan Khiaoto.
All eyes will be on the exploits of star batter Nattakhan Chantham, who became the first Thai player to debut in the Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL), and her likely opening partner, the veteran all-rounder Nattaya Boochatham, who impressed against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.
Sources in Thailand told Emerging Cricket that youngsters Thipatcha Putthawong and Phannita Maya have come a long way in their development as players since the T20 World Cup and will make their debuts during the tour.
Despite attaining permanent Test and ODI status earlier this year, Zimbabwe has been starved of cricket recently, their women’s team missing the 2019 T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers in Scotland after Zimbabwe Cricket was suspended by the ICC.
Incidentally, a strong South African Emerging XI toured Zimbabwe in May 2021, whitewashing the hosts in their five one-day matches.
Thailand first played South Africa at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia last year, losing by over a hundred runs, and also lost to Zimbabwe by 36 runs in their last encounter at the previous 50-Over Global Qualifier in 2017.
Naruemol Chaiwai (captain), Nannapat Khoncharoenkrai (vice-captain), Nattaya Boochatham, Ratanaporn Padunglerd, Chanida Sutthiruang, Natthakan Chantham, Suleeporn Laomi, Sornnarin Tippoch, Rosenanee Kanoh, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Phannita Maya, Onnicha Kampchomphu, Thipatcha Putthawong, Aphisara Suwanchonrathi, Sunida Chaturongrattana.
Wednesday 18 August 2021 – 1st One-day vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Friday 20 August 2021 – 2nd One-day vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Sunday 22 August 2021 – 3rd One-day vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Tuesday 24 August 2021 – 4th One-day vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Friday 27 August 2021 – 1st T20I vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Sunday 29 August 2021 – 2nd T20I vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Monday 30 August 2021 – 3rd T20I vs Zimbabwe (Harare)
Sunday 5 September 2021 – 1st One-day vs South Africa Emerging (Potchefstroom)
Tuesday 7 September 2021 – 2nd One-day vs South Africa Emerging (Potchefstroom)
Thursday 9 September 2021 – 3rd One-day vs South Africa Emerging (Potchefstroom)
Saturday 11 September 2021 – 4th One-day vs South Africa Emerging (Potchefstroom)
Monday 13 September 2021 – 5th One-day vs South Africa Emerging (Potchefstroom)
Thursday 16 September 2021 – 1st T20I vs South Africa Emerging (Potschefstroom)
Friday 17 September 2021 – 2nd T20I vs South Africa Emerging (Potschefstroom)
Sunday 19 September 2021 – 3rd T20I vs South Africa Emerging (Potschefstroom)
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