Developing women’s cricket- lessons from Thailand

The Thai women’s cricket team has qualified for the Women’s T20 World Cup at the recent ICC qualifier in Scotland. The Americas representative, USA, who outclassed Canada in the Americas qualifier finished 7th. Two excellent pieces should be considered essential reading for those tasked with developing women’s cricket in Canada.
Nishadh Rego for Emerging cricket profiles the Thai programme:-
“Across the globe, the more successful Associate-level women’s teams come from environments in which there is already strong investment, relative success in the men’s game, and where there is something of a local cricketing culture. Nepal, UAE, Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and PNG are cases in point.
Thailand bucks this trend. The country’s success in the women’s game has come in spite of the absence of money, a domestic competition, a depth of players to choose from and any real cricketing culture. This realisation makes the team’s success over many years even more remarkable.”
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Peter Della Penna analyses the US’s poor performance and provides a path forward- which Canada should consider following unless we are to be left even further behind
“Thailand Cricket’s administrators made the decision from day one that they would not find success depending on Commonwealth expats who are second-rate cricketers to lead them to glory. They committed to finding the first-rate athletic talent from other sports, predominantly softball …, and then set about teaching these elite athletes how to play cricket to become first-rate cricketers. The proof of concept was there for all to see this past week in Scotland.
Putting aside the Thai’s batting and bowling technical prowess, what stood out most was their world-class fielding: footspeed to the ball in the field, catching ability, throwing arm strength and accuracy from the circle and from the boundary, sliding and diving to stop runs in the circle and along the boundary, depth perception judging skied chances. Fielding and fitness have been the foundational pillars upon which Thailand built their game to be a competitive unit. Over time they have worked to close the talent and skill gaps in batting and bowling.”
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