Cricket players at training session

Thinley Namgay

Bhutan Cricket (BC) has started high-performance programme (HPP) for women’s national team in Gelephu yesterday.

The 10-month HPP is to prepare the players for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier in Malaysia later this year.

HPP comprises of four training phases—general preparatory, specific-preparatory, pre-competition, and competition. Each phase involves two months of activities. In the last two months the players will undergo stimulation exercise.

Eight players have signed a contract with BC; six more will be selected from Sarpang.

BC’s chief executive officer, Damber S Gurung, said HPP was a pilot programme to standardise the national team.

During the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, BC’s target was to win seven games to qualify for the global qualifiers. “HPP is not a one-time event, but will carry on for all teams.”

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, BC couldn’t conduct the open trial camp.

“As this project is in the initial stage, we thought of having players with international experience along with young talents,” said Damber S Gurung.

The players will be divided into A, B, C and D grades. Grading will be based on their past and current performances and international participation.

The ‘A’ grade players will receive a monthly stipend of Nu 15,000;  B Nu 10,000; C Nu 5,000, and D Nu 3,000.

Incentives for ‘excellence in performance’ such as century, half-century, five wickets, woman of the match, player of the tournament, best bowler and batter are included in HPP.

Damber S Gurung said that BC was looking for players with time for a 10-month training.

Cricket is one of the fastest-growing sports in Bhutan. Senior women’s national team was formed in 2008.