Abbi Aitken "There is a belief around the team"
14 female cricketers depart from Glasgow this Thursday for Bangkok to represent their country in a bid to reach the ICC Women’s World T20 next February in India.
To join their male counter-parts, who secured qualification for the men’s version of the tournament in August, the women must finish in the top two of the eight team qualifier in Thailand.
Captain Abbi Aitken, who will edge to within touching distance of her 100th cap during the tournament said, “We are under no illusion of the task that lies ahead and are well aware that we need to go out there and make it happen for ourselves.”
Scotland’s first game comes against Papua New Guinea in the un-familiar surroundings of Thailand Cricket Ground, with the second, and likely most testing, fixture against Bangladesh – who are currently ranked 9th in the world - before taking on the hosts at the Asian Institute of Technology.
Should they negotiate themselves into top two of the group they will then contest a ‘winner takes all’ semi-final, with the victors heading to India.
“I fully believe that we have prepared the best we possibly could have with the resources that Cricket Scotland have available.
It’s fantastic to see the support that we’ve got already, and that’s before we’re even out there. There’s a great belief around the team – and as long as we go out there, play like I know we can do, and back our skills – I have no doubt that we can walk away from this tournament as better players. The learning experience will be invaluable for us.” Aitken added.
On their arrival they’ll enter an environment that only three members of the current squad have experienced previously. It’s also only the second time in history Scotland’s women have appeared at a ICC global event.
“We have a lot of very enthusiastic ladies, aging from 15-33, who are looking forward to experiencing an event of this magnitude. It’s also fantastic to see how the women’s game in Scotland has grown over the years, and that more and more females are participating in the sport at a decent standard - I think that is reflected in the ‘new look’ of the squad travelling to Thailand.
It would be by far the best achievement in our history if we were to qualify for India next year – an absolute dream come true!”