Women's Asia Cup 2022: Spirited Thailand upsets Pakistan
On 6th October 2022, Thailand's Women's Cricket team scored a major upset over Pakistan's Women's Cricket team in the 2022 Asia Cup. Natthakan Chantham starred with the bat, scoring 61 runs in 51 balls. This is also Thailand's first-ever win against a team ranked in the top 10 of the ICC Women's T20I ranking.
Let us look at how Thailand upset the cricketing giants and what led them to this historic victory.
The earliest evidence of cricket being played in Thailand was in the 1980s when the Bangkok City Cricket Club was founded but it was only after 1971 that cricket was seen as a competitive sport. Later in 2005, Thailand became an associate member of the ICC.
However, the Thailand community had done nothing to promote cricket in the subcontinent. Thailand's Women's cricket team made their international debut in 2007 but lost their first two matches against Bangladesh. Six years later, Thailand played their first match outside the Asian Cricket Council, when they played in the World T20 Qualifiers and they ended up in the fifth position out of the eight teams that participated.
Things did not improve as in the 2015 edition of the World T20 Qualifiers, Thailand finished at the seventh spot and had won only one game against the Netherlands. Despite the low popularity rate of the game in the country, Thailand cricket kept moving forward and never gave up.
In 2016, there were some changes made to Thailand's Women's Cricket team. Janak Gamage, the Sri Lankan fast bowler was named the head coach of the team and in 2017, Thailand's Women's Cricket made their One Day International debut in the Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifiers against the mighty blues, India.
Even though Thailand lost, they had given a good fight. Later in 2017, Thailand finished in the medal tally in the 29th Southeast Asian games conducted in Asia. Thailand won the gold medal at the women’s tournament going undefeated for four matches. This was the start of something new.
Fast forward to 9th June 2018 when Thailand beat Sri Lanka by 4 wickets in the Women’s Twenty20 Asia cup which made it their first-ever win against a full-member squad. This was after Thailand's Women's Cricket team were granted full Women’s Twenty20 International status in April 2018.
Another noticeable victory came in February 2019 when the team won the 2019 ICC Women’s Qualifier Asia taking them to both the 2019 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier and the 2020 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers. Later in the year in August, Thailand surpassed the mighty Aussie’s world record and became the first team to have won 17 T20Is successively.
The rise of Thailand in the world of cricket is the major contributions of three people: Captain Sornnarin Tippoch, Thailand cricket CEO Mohideen Kader and Coach Harshal Pathak. This trio has contributed and put in combined efforts to take Thailand cricket to greater heights.
Players like Natthakan Chantham, Naremeuol Chaiwai, Nannapat Konchareonkai, Nattayam Boochatham, and Channida Chituruang also contributed to the success of Thailand's Women's Cricket team. Thailand have made major strides in world cricket and they show no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Stay tuned with Sportco for all the latest and exciting content. Do follow our social media handles for all the latest news and updates revolving around the world of Sports.