Ugyen Tshering | Intern

Ngawang Choden is just 14 years old, but has shouldered the responsibility of serving the nation by playing cricket in the national team.

She is one of the 11 girls practicing for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Asia qualifier that will be conducted in Malaysia in November this year.

The class X student of Gelephu Higher Secondary School discontinued her studies to play for the national team this year.

From Jomotsangkha in Samdrupjongkhar, Ngawang Choden grew up in Gelephu with her parents, as her father is a police constable. “My parents supported my decision to play for the country and appear the exam next year. They encouraged it,” she said.

 Although the youngest in the team, she will be a main player in the senior team.

Ngawang said being the youngest player motivates her to play better.

She said she will serve the country by playing the game well. “Playing in the senior team gives me joy and pride.”

 She said she was initially interested in football but calls her gradual shift to cricket a ‘divine intervention’, as she never left the bat once she held it. “I am motivated and passionate to play this game.”

Ngawang said she got to travel outside the country when she was just 12 years old because of cricket. “It was a beautiful experience and a proud moment for me.”

She was in Gelephu for the last five months undergoing training, but as incessant rain disrupted their training, they came to Thimphu and are practicing in Hejo spending four hours in the field during weekdays. On weekends, the team goes to the gym besides the training.

Ngawang said she draws inspiration from senior players like Jigme Singye, who is the captain of the men’s senior team and a man with extraordinary batting and bowling skills and Dechen Wangmo, an amazing batsman and a wicket keeper.

Ngawang’s trainer, Kumar Subba, said she is not only talented and a hardworking player, but also kind and respectful.

Meanwhile, besides the joy of cricket, Ngawang has a dream to become an engineer. “I want to focus on my studies next year.”

Edited by Tashi Dema