It was a magical performance. Dechen Wangmo, 29, from Samtse hit an unbeaten half century, 64 runs from 52 balls against Bahrain in the recent Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Women’s T20 Championship 2022.
This gave Bhutan their highest T20 team score.
Of the 126 runs Bhutan acquired in the 20 overs game, Dechen Wangmo managed more than half of the points which made her player of the match. She also became the first female cricketer from Bhutan to score a half-century and highest individual runs in a match.
After losing three consecutive games to Nepal, Hong Kong, and Kuwait, Bhutan defeated Bahrain by overwhelming 63 runs.
Her achievement in the tournament will be recorded by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“It made me happy,” said Dechen Wangmo, the captain of the senior Bhutan women’s cricket team and the development coach of Samtse.
Dechen Wangmo said that Bhutan was in a difficult situation in a recent tournament in Malaysia. “I have learnt that no matter how rigorous we practice, we need knowledge about the ground reality and game tactics.”
At the age of 14 in 2008, Dechen was selected for the under-19 national team, and after that she played all the international games in both senior and junior category. She has represented Bhutan in more than 13 international tournaments.
Dechen was 13 years old when she started playing cricket.
“I want to thank Bhutan Cricket, my family, friends, and my teachers for all the support they have rendered until now,” Dechen Wangmo said.
Although the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted sporting activities, Dechen is always optimistic about the future of women’s cricket in Bhutan.
She said that the ICC and the ACC are conducting many international tournaments and numerous franchise tournaments are organising for women.
As a development coach of Samtse, she trains players and focuses on fitness, which she considers paramount for cricketers. After coaching, she does self-training and learns new techniques from YouTube.
“We need to conduct more cricket programmes and local tournaments, so that we can encourage youth to play cricket,” Dechen Wangmo said.
Dechen said that training players is challenging as some players are employed and some are still students, which makes it difficult to train together. Moreover, she said that family restrictions also occur when the players try to balance study and the games.
She said that youth have opportunities in sports provided they follow their passion, maintain good health, and do work hard. “My suggestion to younger ones is to be passionate and do what you love.”