Thinley Namgay    

The Under (U)-19 women’s cricket team is preparing to participate in the upcoming T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers in June in Malaysia.

Bhutan will participate in an International Cricket Council (ICC) event for the U-19 category for the first time.

Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will compete in the two-week tournament.

Last week, fourteen players from Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue, and Sarpang were selected. These players are mostly 15 to 16 years old with a softball background.

Cricket coach Kumar Subba and Sonam Lhamo went to dzongkhags for team selection. They will lead the team to Malaysia.

Kumar Subba said that selected participants are training in their respective dzongkhags following the session plan where Bhutan Cricket has dzongkhag coaches to train.

“We plan to take the girls to Gelephu next week for the training,” he said.

He said that for the U-19 competition, Bhutan Cricket had to prepare two years before, but the pandemic restricted all the programmes. “All the girls are academy players and were selected based on the softball technique.”

Kumar Subba said that the girls have less experience, but participation in the ICC tournament would help them become better U-19 players and create a good senior squad in future. “Our main objective is to provide platforms for the girls.”

Meanwhile, in February 2012, the U-19 cricket team of Bhutan took part in the Asian Cricket Council’s U-19 Women’s Championship in Kuwait. Bhutan defeated Hongkong by 69 runs that time.

Dechen Wangmo was declared the best batter of the tournament the same year.