When it comes to the women’s game, then our attention more often than not tends to rest with the usual big names. The fantastic feats of women who’ve been playing and conquering the game like no one’s business arrest our attention. Meet Chanida Suttiruang! One of the cricket’s most admirable talents from the Thai Women Cricket Team. Even ICC appreciated the effort of his girl.
The talk usually revolves around the limited-overs feats garnered by Indian, Australian, English, Caribbean, and the Proteas Women. Talents who aren’t just big on paper but legendary in their current standing occupy our hearts and minds.
We know Suzie Bates, Mithali Raj, Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Stafanie Taylor, and the likes as the poster girls of a revolution that is, as seen especially post-2017 World Cup period, swiftly becoming part of Cricket’s mainstream content.
The rise of Thailand Women’s Cricket team
In that regard, not an awful lot is reserved for teams that are hailed as the rising forces. Isn’t it? For instance, how often would you have browsed a cricket site to scroll past a scoreboard pertaining to the Thai Women’s cricket team?
In the same regard, would you have paid a lot of attention to what is happening in the world of Nepal’s Women’s cricket? Perhaps one may not even have given much thought to the sudden rise of outfits such as The Maldives or where seen steadily in the past few years, then the Thailand Women’s team.
It may not have occurred to most of us that a lot about the prominent rise of the Thailand Women’s Cricket team was down to the effort of the ACC- the Asian Cricket Council- that first organized a multi-team women’s tournament back in 2007.
Those were initial days for the formation of the Thai Women’s Cricket team that first became an Affiliate ICC member in 1995 and then, rose as an Associate in 2005.
But truth be told if you happen to look at Thai Women’s Cricket team, what strikes one are the constant tales that serve both inspiration and thrill in equal measure. Wondering how? For instance, back in 2008 where Thailand Women first played at the ACC Under 19 women’s championship, a cricketer who was just 12 made her debut: Nattakan Chatham.
There was another batswoman who played alongside a time where there was no Shimron Hetmyer, Alzarri Joseph or Jasprit Bumrah in world cricket.
A little-known Naruemol Chaiwai too made her debut.
Today, both Nattakan and Naruemol are the batting mainstays of a team that in 2019 perhaps scaled its most important milestone moment in all of its T20 playing history: emerging as the runners-up in the ICC Women’s 2019 T20 World Cup qualifier.
But the closer you look at a team that’ll be participating in the seventh edition of the T20 Women’s World Cup, having become the tenth team in the format, the more you understand there are more heart-warming stories to tell.
One of the tales concerns Chanida Sutthiruang, who, in the current context is about as important to the Thai Cricket team as is the aspect of a batting power-play in a T20 or the need to decide a tied cricket contest with a super over in the shortest format.
Perhaps it won’t be wrong to state that just a few hours ago when much of the world was tipping the hat, as it should have, to Australia’s Ellyse Perry, who was elected as the Women’s cricketer of the year, headlines also carried the name of a quiet but shining force from Thailand: Chanida Sutthiruang.
While on the one end of the spectrum was the widely acclaimed, ever accustomed to success Ellyse Perry, on the other was a force who belongs to women’s cricket’s hopeful tomorrows.
The rise of Chanida Sutthiruang
The 1993-born right-handed batswoman and medium-pacer is a critical member of Thailand’s playing XI today, someone without whose important contributions the Thai women’s team may not have sailed through to the Women’s T20 World Cup, as seen in the qualifiers. She’s someone who skipper Tippoch swears by and cannot imagine the team without and someone who’s earned the respect of her opponents, including Namibia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and other Asian sides.
Thailand’s impressive fast bowler, someone who sports the impressive disciplined quality of sticking to a line and length was central to Thailand reaching the finals of the Women’s World T20 qualifiers.
Aptly recognized as the Emerging Cricketer of the year, the right-arm claimed 12 wickets, the most for any Thai talent in a tournament where it was all to play for.
Central to Chanida Sutthiruang’s rise has been consistent stints in cricketing academies in her native country. She was one of the pathbreaking performers of the Under-19 program.
Showing great consistency all the way through her international debut, a massive moment that arrived in 2012, Chanida Sutthiruang has never since looked back and continues to impress with her dedication for her team and her possessing strong concentration levels.
In the past seven years, Chanida has risen as the core member of Thailand’s bowling attack, thus far being part of all major tournaments featuring her country, such as 50-over World Cup qualifiers.
Someone who can stick to the middle and around the off stump line, Chanida bowls with the skill and focus of an established athlete of the game, although she’s among the youngest contenders in the international arena with a lot of cricket up her alley given she’s only 26.
ICC elaborated on one of her best performances seen recently:
Her best bowling performance came only in their second match of the tournament, against Namibia, in which she picked up 4/16. Chanida Sutthiruang blew the Netherlands away with a fiery spell of 3/5, effectively crippling their top order. She was consistently economical throughout the tournament and precise with her line and lengths.