Bhutan and india, celebrating a Golden Jubilee – 50 Years – of Friendship this year. Bhutan Cricket Council Board have taken the perfect opportunity to celebrate the long enduring friendship between Bhutan and India by conducting a T20 Championship Trophy between these two countries, where two clubs – Bud Cricket Club and 22 Yards Glory – and two Bhutanese Clubs – Dragon Strikers and President’s 11 – have participated in the tournament.
The Bhutan India 50 Years of Friendship Trophy commenced on April 17, 2018 with two teams from Assam arriving in Thimphu a night before the tournament and two teams from Bhutan already in Thimphu.
On the first day of the tournament, both the teams from Assam, Bud Cricket Club and 22 Yards Glory started off the tournament with wins, leaving both the teams from Bhutan, President’s 11 and Dragon Strikers with no point. Next day of the tournament was crucial for both the Bhutanese teams as they both needed a win if they are to qualify for the finals.
However, the luck wasn’t with the Bhutanese teams as both the teams lost their second matches as well against the two Indian teams, leaving them again with no points with two games played. With that result from the second day, it was confirmed that the finals will be played between the two Indian teams – Bud Cricket Club and 22 Yards Glory on April 21, 2018. On the second day, the Secretary of Assam Cricket Association, Mr. Pradip Buragohain, and his son, the President of Cricket Association of Naharkatia, Mr. Kowstava Buragohain made their presence at the Pelkhil Oval during their two-day visit and witnessed the second day matches.
In the final match, Bud Cricket Club won the toss and opted to bat first. Bud Cricket Club managed to set a mammoth target of 206 runs from 20 overs, in which Sarupam from Bud CC scored the highest run of 83 (n.o) from just 46 balls at a strike rate of 180.4 and Rajat Khan and Kalyan Gogoi chipping in some valuable runs with 35 of 18 balls and 23 of 16 balls respectively. From 22 Yards Glory, Pradip Chetri took 2 valuable wickets in his 4 overs spell, only conceding 29 runs.
In the second innings of the final match, 22 Yards Glory had a huge task ahead of them if they were to win the finals. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, they managed to score only 179 runs from 20 overs, short of 26 runs.
Mrigen and Biplop from 22 Yards Glory were the only two batsmen with decent scores, scoring 42 runs of 17 balls and 34 runs of 17 balls respectively and sharing a partnership of 81 runs. Sarupam from Bud Cricket Club was seen performing with the ball, taking 2 wickets in his 4 overs spell and conceding only 21 runs. Sarupam’s match winning all-round performance saw him declared as the Man of the Final Match.
In the final match of the 50 Years of Friendship Championship Trophy, H.E. Shri. Jaideep Sarkar, Ambassador of India to Bhutan has graced the occasion, along with Mrs. Nidhi Dhiman, Secretary of India Bhutan Foundation, Mr. Thinley Wangchuk Dorji and Mr. Jigme N. Norbu, President and Secretary General of Bhutan Cricket Council Board.
In the final presentation, all the important stake holders were thanked and presented with momentos in appreciating their support for the tournament and most importantly, helping Bhutan to grow and promote this beautiful game of cricket, followed by all the officials and members who have been part of the organizing team thanked and presented with token of appreciations on behalf of BCCB.
H.E. Shri. Jaideep Sarkar shared a few words during the presentation and made some beautiful comment on cricket in Bhutan. He said, “Bhutan is thankful to have people like President Mr. Thinley Wangchuk Dorji, Secretary General Mr. Jigme N. Norbu and all the members of BCCB, to always work so hard for the sake of promotion and growth of this game of cricket all over the country. Cricket is not only played in India but all over South Asia in which countries like Afghanistan are doing really good in the cricket world and players from Himachal are playing in the IPL. In Bhutan, we are seeing more enthusiasm in cricket and this is more important than anything. India Bhutan Foundation have supported the growth of participation in sports like cricket in Bhutan and will do so in the future too.”
Bud Cricket Club was seen lifting the Winning Trophy and 22 Yards Glory lifting the Runners-up trophy. Sarupam Purkayastha from Bud Cricket Club was declared the Best Bowler of the Tournament and Highest Sixes of the Tournament, and Pervez Aziz from Bud Cricket Club was declared as the Best Batsman of the Tournament and Player of the Tournament for his outstanding batting performance throughout the tournament.