Friday, April 16, 2010 , Posted by D S Gurung at 5:53 PM

Warm up session in Unity Ground, Kuwait

Bhutanese team were constant with inconsistent which let them lose all four matches crumbled playing not enough overs or chasing big target except for the last match for 7th and 8th place they settled 41.4 overs with 134 runs. This is surprising for people of Bhutan, board members, selection committee and fans after all giving fabulous performances in ACC Trophy Challenge in Thailand 2009 team suddenly got hammered in Elite group. What went wrong with the preparation or what was lacking with Bhutanese cricketers? Bhutan are still in Elite group though they lost all matches; thanks to Bahrain team for not playing in this tournament even after they arrived to Kuwait, blaming Kuwait cricket managing for being irresponsible for issuance of team visa and which let Bhutan to stay in Elite. 


Asian Cricket Council came up with this kind of idea of having Elite and Challenge group since from year 2006 but before that the tournament was held within all the non-test nations from Asia. Bhutan played ACC trophy in 2006 that was held in Malaysia where this kind of format was not apply and the team they played against was Nepal, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Myanmar. The only team they won was against Myanmar but with rest of the teams they got thrashed. After a gap of two years Bhutan played in the challenge group in Thailand where they stood 2nd position and promoted to Elite group.

First Under 15 Bhutan cricket team to reach final in International Tournament

Still if you see in the challenge final they played against Oman, Bhutan were still thrashed. Which mean it is very tough for Bhutanese senior team to really battle in the Elite standard and the reason behind this is most of the players playing for those countries are not originally from that nations but they are test nations first class cricketers except for Nepal with pure Nepalese. All the teams are playing in Elite group are also playing in World Cricket League above division 5.

Now let’s compare Bhutanese junior level teams; in the challenge group Bhutan U15 were finalist two times and in U19 once in ACC tournament. Bhutan played only once in U19 Elite and lost all the matches but the result was close. Which mean here they can compare their team for the reason that most of the players are not playing in that standard though they are not the citizen of that nation?

BHUTAN WIN A THRILLER: ACC U-19 Challenge Cup Semi-Final Bhutan v Maldives

As per ICC rules says each country can hire players to compete and promote the game in their country but in Bhutanese policy says they do not want to have any foreign player which indicates clearly that takes time for Bhutanese to play or to qualified in senior Elite category or to really keep their standard with the ICC & ACC Elite teams but however they believe in building up a strong base at this time so that cricket must not collapse in future.

 Sunday Funday Cricket in Changlimithang 2006

Bhutan Cricket contain another drawback which is still effecting junior or senior teams to really set their playing standard in any ACC tournaments that is infrastructure. They don’t even have playing field at this moment. They had a square two years back which was located in Changlimithang Stadium with at least nets and center wicket though it was not in standard sizes but it helped preparing team much better than now. It is not any more with Bhutan Cricket Board. Bhutan always struggled playing in wide field and they have always suffered in the beginning of any tournament they have participated but had adapted speedily to get something out of tournament. But with senior elite group trying was not enough against experience players. The last match they played was in the 2009 ACC Challenge final against Oman and right after one year of gap they played against Afghanistan the winner of ACC Trophy Elite, 2010, qualified for Twenty20 World Cup and also have ODI Status for four years from International Cricket Council. It is completely a different ball game when it comes to tournament. Practicing in nets is very importation to develop skills but preparing team in nets for big tournament is something Bhutanese team is doing constantly. So this is something we can call seriously fantabulous, outstanding, superb and exceptional cricket Bhutanese cricketers has played to gain 43 World ranking and four times finalist in AC tournaments in a very short period of time and without no proper training facilities. But for how long it should go on?

Nets in YHSS

Bhutan team did batting/ bowling practice in nets and fielding on unlevel ground to participate in this ACC trophy Elite. Some of team members said it was not that we were not fit but it was just that we were not consistent in bowling, batting and fielding categories and it might be because we play three or four matches in year that is also in ACC tournaments not in domestic. We have quality of become better cricketers but we need all the essentials which makes champion cricketers. 

 Practice session in Delhi

Bhutan needs ground as earlier as possible to play cricket and to produce quality cricketers to maintain their standard in ACC or ICC events. This will also help Bhutan to upgrade membership with ICC from Affiliated to Associated and bring more funds in to invest it for improvement of infrastructures.
Bhutanese senior team will be playing in the ICC WCL Division 8 (World Cricket League) this coming December 2010 in Kuwait. Bhutan and Kuwait from Asia will take on Gibraltar, Suriname and Vanuatu along with three other teams yet to be confirmed.

With Bhutanese Ambassador at Bhutan Embassy in Kuwait

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