"In life, the challenge is not so much to figure out how best to play the game, the challenge is to figure out what game you're playing." Kwame Antony Appiah

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BHUTAN




Population: 733,643 (2014 est.)
Population (Aged 0-14): 27.3%
National Coach: Damber Singh Gurung
National Captain: Jigme Singye
Women’s Captain: Dechen Wangmo
Cricket teams: 75
Grounds: 2
Turf wickets: 0
Women’s cricket: Yes
Playing Season: September to May

ACC Member since 2001
ACC Development Officer: Rumesh Ratnayake

The 2014 ACC Elite League Squad in Singapore

Recent Achievements:

2010 Finalists, ACC U-19 Women’s Championship
2014 Spirit of Cricket Award, ACC Women’s Premier

Active personnel qualified from ACC Courses:

Coaches: Level I and II – 38, Level III – 1
Umpires: Level I and II – 7
Curators: Module I – 4, Module II – 3, Module III – 3, Advanced – 2

Nestled as it is in the heart of the Himalayas, for centuries none but the most intrepid made it through the steep mountain passes to reach proudly independent Bhutan. Archery being the national sport guaranteed the country considerable protection against invaders. But the Bhutanese were helpless before the onslaught of electromagnetic waves carrying television signals.

Starting in 2001, Indian television started threading its way through the highlands and in its wake came an appreciation for movies, soap operas and cricket.

Out of a population of around 740,000, 2500 are regular cricketers, with the numbers having risen 10% from 2012 to 2013. The biggest ground in the capital Thimphu (2.3 km above sea level) isn’t quite big enough for ICC-sanctioned cricket but serves its purpose in training the national senior and youth teams. They even play in the winter months, braving intermittent sleet and snow. Administrators are currently trying to maximize playing opportunities by taking the game south towards the plains and the Indian border, to take advantage of the land and climate more conducive to cricket than in Thimphu and plans to make use of a site in the region are advanced. Cricket is being taken to the schools and forms a fundamental part of the BCCB’s development program.

Wherever they are, wherever they play, the cricketers retain a unique Bhutanese flavour. All batsmen bow their heads in supplication to the cricketing gods before taking the field. “We do not pray for victory”, says national captain Damber Singh Gurung, “we pray for each other to give our best and to emerge complete from the competition.” The Dechephu Lhakhang temple in Thimphu is the spiritual home of Bhutan Cricket and cricketers visit before every tournament to invoke the protecting deities.

The team regularly yo-yo between the top two groups though of late have found their opponents at senior and U-19 level relatively stronger. Lack of sufficient turf facilities for training and matchplay have been significantly hampering progress and the promise of earlier years is in danger of being unrealised.
A studious national captain in Jigme Singye At the ACC Women’s Premier, February 2014 ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake training in Thimphu in August 2014

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BHUTAN CRICKET COUNCIL BOARD

P.O. Box No. 1313, Thimphu, Bhutan
Phone : 00975-2-333186
Fax : 00975-2-333186
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Web: www.bhutancricket.org