The national women’s team will play in the Thailand Women’s Twenty20 Smash tournament in Bangkok this weekend looking to improve their ICC world ranking.
The 10-team tournament will also assist national coach Sampath Perera in preparing the side for the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifiers Asia Region in February.
Perera said the national players have shown much improvement in training over the last two months with their confidence boosted after playing matches against men teams.
“This tournament will give us a chance to improve our T20 International ranking and is good preparation for the World T20 qualifiers,” said Perera, ahead of the team’s departure on Friday.
“The players are getting better after starting practice in November. They have played mixed matches with the men and improved a lot. Their confidence has grown so it makes it easier when they play against women.”
In the eight-day tournament in Bangkok, World No 31 Malaysia will face higher-ranked United Arab Emirates (14th), Nepal (18th) and China (25th) along with Thailand A in Group A. All matches, except those involving Thailand A, have WT20I status.
Group B consists of hosts and top-ranked Thailand (12th), Hong Kong (21st), Indonesia (22nd), Bhutan and Myanmar. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semifinals.
Winifred Anne Duraisingam will captain the national team which also includes Yusrina Yaakop, Emylia Eliani Rahim and Christina Baret.
“Power-hitting has improved a lot as well as game-management, these are the two things we worked on the most,” added Perera.
The national women’s team open their campaign against Nepal on Sunday before facing Thailand A, UAE and China on consecutive days.
Group A: United Arab Emirates, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Thailand A
Group B: Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Bhutan, Myanmar
Jan 13: Malaysia v Nepal (10.30am)
Jan 14: Thailand A v Malaysia (2.30pm)
Jan 15: Malaysia v UAE (10.30am)
Jan 16: Malaysia v China (10.30am)
Jan 18: Semi-finals and 5th-8th placing
Jan 19: Final and placing matches