Thinley Namgay  

National cricket players can now train year round at the Bhutan Cricket Council Board’s (BCCB) international standard indoor cricket academy launched in Thimphu on December 20.

To date, players often train at the Gelephu cricket ground. However, the ground was not user-friendly in summer owing to heavy downpours.

There are also a few cricket grounds in the capital, but training has been challenging in the winter due to freezing temperature.

The new indoor cricket academy is expected to ensure inclusive cricket development by attracting people to cricket.

Featuring five training pitches, the facility is located on the top floor of the Multilevel Car Park near the Lungtenzampa bridge. The Asian Cricket Council funded the project, which cost around Nu 4 million.

Senior national cricketer Ranjung Mikyo Dorji said the new avenue is a timely initiative of Bhutan Cricket. “All the players are very excited and looking forward to using the nets.”

He said that those players who are office-goers couldn’t train in the past in the absence of an indoor pitch.

The Asian Cricket Council Challenger Cup will be held in Thailand in February, and the current pitches are expected to help train the players better. The selection of players is underway.

BCCB’s CEO, Damber S Gurung, said the new pitches will remain open to all cricket enthusiasts from 9am to 10pm. “BCCB is also working on a membership plan. The primary objective is to conduct coaching throughout the year.”

Being indoors, it will be convenient for parents to send their kids as the area is clean and safe.