Captains launch WWT20Q in Bangkok

27 Nov

The captains at the official launch (Ian Jacobs/ICC)

Eight sides to vie for two available places in ICC Women’s World Twenty20 India 2016 in Bangkok from Saturday. 

Two places in next year’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20 India 2016 will be up for grabs when eight sides go head to head in a week-long ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier Thailand 2015 in Bangkok from Saturday. 

Apart from the host nation, sides from Bangladesh, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Zimbabwe will take part in the competition with the 5 December Trophy finalists joining reigning champion Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in the event proper, which will be staged alongside the men’s event from 11 March to 3 April 2016. 

Thailand Cricket Ground (TCG) and Asian Institute of Technology Ground (AIT) will stage the double-headers with Thailand taking on Bangladesh (1000-1245 local time) and PNG meeting Scotland (1345-1630) at the TCG and Ireland facing off Netherlands (1000-1245) and China squaring off against Zimbabwe (1345-1630) at AIT on the opening day. 

According to event format, the eight sides have been divided into two groups with the top two sides from each group moving to the Trophy semi-finals and bottom two from each group playing in the Shield semi-finals. 

This is the second edition of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier, after the 2013 event was hosted by Ireland with Pakistan and Sri Lanka being adjudged as joint winners. 

Thailand captain Sornnrin Tippoch was excited about the opportunity to showcase the tournament, hoping that it will help grow the game across the country. “We have done our best with our preparation despite the extended rainy season and various academic and work commitments,” she said. 

“It is very exciting for everyone to host this tournament, which will generate a lot of good exposure and publicity, and more Thai people will know about cricket. We will take it game by game and put in our best effort.  This is our second qualifier, so we know what to expect and are aiming to achieve,” she added. 

Ireland captain Isobel Joyce, younger sister of Ireland men’s senior international Ed, features in a panel packed with youth and experience alongside her twin sister Cecelia, and said the team was determined to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20. 

“The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier is a huge tournament for Ireland and it’s very important for the continued development of the team that we qualify for the main event in March,” Joyce said, adding: “The girls have been very focused in training, both in the gym and with skills sessions. Our training camp in La Manga, Spain, recently, and a power-hitting session with Julian Wood, has us very prepared for T20 cricket and we can’t wait to hit the ground running in Thailand.” 

Esther de Lange has laid down the gauntlet to her Netherlands squad as it bids to qualify for its first major Women’s global event in 15 years.

“We’ve had an intense preparation so far. The squad is very dedicated and has worked hard in the lead-up to the tournament. We’ve been working on technical and tactical skills, as well as the mental skills required to deal with matches at this level,” said the 31-year-old all-rounder who made her international debut 10 years ago. 

“Our focus for this tournament is playing to our strengths as a team. That will put us in a good position to qualify for the semi-final and come out on top. It would be a massive achievement if we qualify for the event in India next year. The Netherlands has not been part of a Women’s global event since 2000, although we have come very close to qualifying in recent years,” she concluded. 

For Scotland captain Abbi Aitken, her side’s sights are set on creating history. 

The 24-year-old all-rounder, previewing the tournament, said: “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! 

“But we are under no illusion of the task that lies ahead and are well aware that we need to go out there and make that happen ourselves. 

“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 about 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.”

 Live scoring available at www.icc-cricket.com; photographs will be available for free download and editorial use here; more information available on the event site

 You can also follow us on Twitter for updates at either @cricketscotland or @wildcatscricket

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