Nima’s Thinley Tenzin and Kencho Norbu

Nima Higher Secondary School have won the 2009 U-19 Boys Tournament in Thimphu, Bhutan. They upset favourites Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School in the Final, winning the 30-overs a side match by 10 runs.

ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake who was coaching in Thimphu in the run-up to the Final, was at the game and was impressed by the quality of players on view. “A lot of the players are in the national age-group squads and there are one or two who really have a lot of potential. Not only have the days when Bhutan was just making up the numbers gone, I think Bhutan are now on the way to getting and cementing a place in the Elite group of ACC countries.”

Rumesh Ratnayake (far right, blue shirt) in Thimphu, October 2009

At Challenge Level (below Elite) Bhutan have been ACC U-15, U-19, senior team ACC Trophy Finalists in recent years, which elevated them into the respective Elite groupings in subsequent competitions. Though they lost their place in the U-19 Elite Group this year, they are a side which cannot be underestimated. And they have a decent women’s side too.

“Up against the Middle East teams, Bhutan tends to be outmuscled and outfought just because they aren’t used to that kind of one-on-one intensity but I believe that is all going to change as domestic cricket in Bhutan gets more competitive,” says the ACC Development Officer.

Pictures courtesy of Tashi Phuntsho

Bhutan Country Profile

Filed Oct 7th, 2009