The first ever Women’s T20 Club Championship in Bhutan in collaboration with UNICEF, India Bhutan Foundation and International Cricket Council started yesterday in Thimphu.
A total of six teams, representing the districts are taking part with two teams from Thimphu. A total of 16 matches will be played and all matches will be played at the Pelkhil School ground.
The winner will be awarded a cash prize of Nu 100,000 and Nu 50,000 for the second. The tournament is aimed to improve the general cricketing standard of Women in Bhutan and to support the already abundant local talent, according to the national coach, Daniel Gurung.
“This would also prepare our Women’s National Team for future tournaments outside the Country.” This tournament is also a platform for those players who have never experienced playing higher level of cricket.
UNICEF Representative to Bhutan, Rudolf Schewen, Bhutan Cricket Council of Bhutan President, Thinley Wangchuk Dorji graced the opening match between Dechencholing Nazhoen Cricket Club of Thimphu and Bajo Cricket club of Wangdue where both the openers, Dechen Wangmo and Yeshey Choden of Dechencholing scored half centuries.
During the launch of the tournamnet, UNICEF Representative, Rudolf Schewen said UNICEF promote games and sport around the world, help to promote child development at the young age and provide a space to grow for everyone.
Bhutan National Cricket coach, Daniel Gurung said cricket could give quality opportunities to young and talented girls and women, whereby a career in Cricket can be persued as a sustainable and stable life choice.
He also added that they have been piloting Women’s Cricket Development Program since 2007, and in last three years, they have seen measurable success and we are seeking to expand this success into two new districts.
Youngest player in the tournament is Kinley Bidha a 13-year-old from Bajo Higher Secondary School studying in class VIII and representing Bajo Cricket club and playing as a fast bowler .
Kinley Bidha said being the youngest and a first timer in the biggest tournament does give lots of pressure but the main focus will be in the game and win matches for the team.
Sonam representing Ugyen Academy said it’s a limited over but fielding and putting pressure on other team can win matches.
Dechencholing Nazhoen Cricket Club won the opening match by 129 runs.