Thailand coach Harshal Pathak confident of seeing Nattakan Chantham in the WBBL soon

Nattakan Chantham in action. © Getty Images

Thailand coach Harshal Pathak has stated that Nattakan Chantham may get a Women’s Big Bash (WBBL) contract in the season ahead owing to her exposure in the Women’s T20 Challenge that happened in the United Arab Emirates last year in November.

“I am very confident about that,” Pathak told Women’s CricZone during a live chat. “Sometimes we do not know but in the background, things are being done, there are a lot of scouts keeping an eye on the players. You never know she could be picked for some WBBL game also.”

Chantham became the first Thailand cricketer to play in the Women’s T20 Challenge when she was picked by Trailblazers which also included the likes of Deandra Dottin, Sophie Ecclestone and Salma Khatun under the captaincy of Smriti Mandhana.

Although she couldn’t do much with the bat in all three matches she played including the final, what caught everyone’s eye was her electrifying athleticism on the field. First, she pouched on to a Jemimah Rodrigues catch at cover-point throwing her body in the air and then sprinted and pulled back the ball from reaching the boundary, putting in a dive, much like Brendon McCullum.

ALSO, READ: Hopefully my achievement can inspire more Thai girls, says Nattakan Chantham

“How good was she on the field? I think the moment when she took that flying catch of Jemimah Rodrigues, which was the turning point of the match. It was a great experience both for her and Thailand cricket. I also would like to thank BCCI for giving an opportunity to a Thai player which is essential for teams like us to develop,” he said.

“I think everybody now knows she has the potential. That’s going to help Thailand cricket in the long run because when you see your own teammate doing that well, you can see how she prepares, then it automatically comes to you that ‘I can also do this’,” said Pathak, who is currently in India spending time with family.

“Obviously she will have to be more consistent in the international games that are upcoming to prove herself. I think sooner or later, not only Nattakan but some other players are also picked for WBBL.”

The former cricketer, who has played in India, also feels that Chantham’s participation has also made her feel belongingness to the top level.

ALSO READ: Sharing dressing room with some of the world’s best will help me grow, says Salma Khatun

“Once she came from the Women’s T20 Challenge, she shared her experience and we had a team meeting about it. The prominent thing that she felt and emphasised was the confidence that the high-quality players carry because of the skills they have and know the game very well,” Pathak continued.

“It is important to know yourself and know your game, where you are strong at, which aspect you need to improve, so that’s one thing she spoke to the team, that you should start knowing your own game and you should know your own method to get the runs.

“That was very nice to hear for me as a coach that a player interacting among themselves that what is needed to be done. I think she now has the feeling of belongingness to that level and I think that is what we spoke,” concluded Pathak.

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