The Bhutan Cricket Council Board (BCCB) has bagged the Asian winner award in the Cricket 4 Social Good Initiative category for its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
At a time when made playing and training sessions impossible, the cricket community comprising of captains, batters, bowlers, all-rounders, coaches and other staff of BCCB instead decide to provide their services to the public.
They took up the duty of nurses, guards, street wardens and caterers when the pandemic was at its peak in most parts of the globe.
While some cooked food for others, some were engaged in transportation of essential supplies. Again some involved themselves in night patrolling, keeping a close watch on people and goods coming in and going out of a particular area.
Uganda was adjudged the global winner, a report stated.
Bhutan’s cricket was born in 1999, with the country’s cricket team making its international debut in 2003.
Although cricket is played in 10 of Bhutan’s 20 districts, the country is yet to have a cricket turf.
Currently the game is played on artificial strips installed in open spaces or football grounds.
However, Bhutan’ first international cricket ground at Gelephu is being used by the country’ women team for practice.
The team is using two turfs and two artificial strips in the cricket ground at Gelephu to train for the Asian qualifier for the T20 World Cup to be held in Malaysia in November this year.
Bhutan’s first captain and BCCB’s CEO Gurung Damber said, “Cricket in our country has seen a considerable growth from 13,000 to 45,000 players, coaches, grassroots workers, officials and other staff. About 50 tournaments were held every year across schools, clubs and men’s and women’s age-level cricket before the pandemic struck.”
“When the pandemic broke out BCCB requested all our office, staff, players, coaches, whoever was involved with us to do De-suung training, which means become guardians of peace,” Damber said.
De-suung refers to a three-week programme conducted by the Bhutanese government where a participant is trained on disaster management so as to churn put volunteers who will offer their services in times of any disaster that may hit the country.
Former women’s captain and current batter, Denchen Wangmo, who provided her services along on the Bhutan-Bengal border for two months during the pandemic last year said, “I used to do duty at the ceheckpost for 13 hours a day. Our duty was to ensure that Indian truck drivers went into quarantine and did not come into contact with Bhutanese labourers.”
“I’d not gone trekking for several issues and experienced breathing issues while carrying ration for monks of the Lungchutshe Temple. They were so grateful that they opened the temple for us and gave us tea, juice and biscuits,” said district coach Kencho Norbu, who was engaged in patrolling duty during the Covid-19 lockdown in Bhutan.