The Dutch womenís squad which flew out of Schiphol last night bound for Sri Lanka, where they will prepare for the World Twenty20 qualifier which starts in Bangkok on 28 November, may well be the youngest ever to represent the Netherlands in an ICC tournament.

But they will go into that competition with some good performances behind them, and determined to give a good account of themselves.

After an English county season in which they won as many games as they lost in both T20 and the 50-over format they face a tough group phase in Thailand, opening their campaign against their familiar rivals Ireland and then going on to face Zimbabwe and China. They will probably need to win two of these three matches if they are to progress to the semi-finals.

They are led by the experienced Esther de Lange, at 31 the veteran of more than 60 games for her country and the Netherlandsí leading wicket-taker with her off-spin. She succeeded to the captaincy earlier this year after the retiral of Denise Hannema, and has been working closely with the new national womenís coach Peter Cantrell, a former international who coached the menís side at the 2007 World Cup, and former captain Helmien Rambaldo, who has been lending her experience to the teamís preparation.

De Langeís deputy is Miranda Veringmeier, whose hard hitting is likely to be a key factor in reaching the kind of totals that will be needed if the team is to progress beyond the group phase. Another batter to watch is 16-year-old Sterre Kalis, who has already demonstrated excellent skill and temperament in some significant innings against English counties.

Allrounder Cher van Slobbe, at 20 already one of the more experienced players in the squad, was the leading Dutch wicket-taker in the ECB Twenty20 Cup this summer, but is likely to be as important for her batting as her bowling in the Thailand tournament.

This trio will be joined by Heather Siegers, back from injury and another strokeplayer who is capable of responding positively to the challenge of the gameís shortest format.

Others who will be looking to make their mark with the bat are teenagers Robine Rijke and Babette de Leede, the latter the niece of former national menís captain Tim de Leede and one of several wicketkeepers in the side. De Lange and Cantrell will also be hoping that Christine Erkelens, who returned to the national set-up this summer, will fulfil her potential at the top of the order.

Van Slobbe will spearhead a lively young seam department, which also includes Lisa Klokgieters, Esther Corder, Coco Steenstra Toussaint, and Rijke. They will need to put the opposition under early pressure, while De Lange will also have the option of turning to leg-spinner Annemijn Thomson to supplement her own bowling.

The remaining members of the squad, who will be hoping to use three warm-up matches in Sri Lanka to stake a claim for a place in the starting eleven are JuliŽt Post and Carmela Appel, both of whom gained valuable experience during the 2015 English season.

The Dutch will take on Sri Lanka A and a Sri Lankan Development XI at Panadura on Monday, with a game against the Panadura club itself on Wednesday before they move on to the serious business of the tour in Thailand.