By Sonam Deki
Bhutan is preparing for the U19 Men’s Cricket Word Cup Asia qualifier to be held in Oman at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground. The selection process for the players began pre-covid-19 pandemic however, the selection had to be stopped due to pandemic.
Over 50 club tournament for U19 men were played at the beginning for the selection of the players, where 30 players were selected. A month ago, they held a final try out in Thimphu for selection of the final players and selected the last 14 players. The intensive training for these players has started from August 15 and will continue till September 18 at the International cricket ground in Gelephu.
“Most of the players easily give up when training gets tougher and tougher but in case of Bhutanese player they are so enthusiastic and work harder than before. And they are always ready to adept accordingly. This positive attitude from players is what encourages me as a coach “, said Anton Trishane Nonis, the National Coach.
Damber S Gurung, CEO, Bhutan Cricket said “They are doing their best to learn and prepare for the tournament. We have mostly new players but few of them have played in an international U16 tournament”. He also added that the best part is that we have an experienced coach from Sri Lanka, who has great playing experience and expertise.
The team finds themselves with limited time and they are trained intensively to meet the skills and team-work required for international matches. In addition to training, 14 players would be given an opportunity to play matches against some experienced players to boost their confidence and enhance skills. Before going to the Oman for the competition, U19 will go to Sikkim for trial matches.
“Our current main focus is on the development of skills for the players and that too, in the short stint. Cricket is a very educational game and it takes time to improve the technique and mature the game. That’s why we will not be looking at the result now, as at the moment, we want to give our young players the opportunity to learn and develop,” says the CEO of Bhutan Cricket.
For the world cup Asia qualifier, Bhutan has best bet on Rigser Namgyel and Tashi Chophel and their play will determine Bhutan’s push ahead in the game.
“Rigser Namgyel, 16 year-old got the pace and control while Tashi Chophel, 17 year-old possesses the height and bounce and the two combined can definitely pose threat to any opponent”, said the couch.
He further said, “Moreover, they have a captain who is a promising cricketer. They are talented and passionate about what they do”.
“Since Rigser and I would be the first ballers, we are quite nervous as the match depend upon us but excited at the same time. We will make sure our hard-work pays off”, said Tashi Chophel.
The tournament for the upcoming event is divided into two group, Group A includes Oman, Bahrain, Bhutan and Saudi Arabia while in group B, Hong Kong, Qatar, Singapore and Thailand. This world cup Asia Qualifier will give ticket to the World Cup for the wining team.
However, Tenzin Rabgay, team captain added, “We are thrilled about the upcoming tournament and working hard to give our best”
Bhutan will play its first match on September 29 against host Oman at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.