For athletes across all sports, the paradigms of physical strength and mental fortitude of performing under various conditions are bound. But at the same time the athletes have other reasons to contend than only strong opponents and performance. Sometimes the weather becomes a major factor in the contest and there are times played in scorching heat, frigid cold and more.
The Bhutanese national women’s cricket team is currently camped in Gelephu to prepare themselves for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Asia Qualifiers to be held later this year and for their overall cricketing development. The camp that began in February is first of its kind initiated by Bhutan Cricket where the national players are on a contract basis for 10 months fully dedicated to the training camp.
However, with the monsoon conditions covering the southern belt of Bhutan that includes Gelephu, it hasn’t been easy for the girls to play and train their normal routine and that has made the situation more challenging. According to the fitness trainer, Sangay Gyamtsho,
“We have shifted more towards indoor training due to the continuous rain and also harsh afternoon heat and humidity.” “We have also made changes in our training schedule and now the training begins as early as 5:30 am to suit the weather forecast,”.
According to the girls, the weather has been harsh at times but are learning lot of things and keeping themselves fit with gym and other fitness regimes. “It is a different feel and training as we are now training on a proper cricket field where in the past our practice was only in the nets and on synthetic mat,” according to medium pacer Anju Gurung.
Reflecting the past four months of rigorous training roster, Sarpang district development coach and currently the assistant women national team Coach Kumar Subha said that the girls have shown lot of progress with the camp.
Kumar said that the first two months was focused mainly on fitness and developing strength in the players and followed by developing their technical skills.
“Along with the fitness trainer we were hard on their gym lessons in the initial stage and that has developed strength and better mind-set now.” “For the past four months I have been correcting the basic skills of the players because all the them had not been playing any cricket due to the pandemic and were completely out of touch.”
The women’s team will travel to Thimphu for few practice matches and continue training in Thimphu due to the challenging weather conditions in Gelephu.
Asking the Bhutan Cricket Chief Executive Officer, Damber S Gurung regarding the camp he said that the idea behind having this camp was to develop competitive players and their mindset. “This is also first of a kind program initiated by Bhutan Cricket and we are blessed to have our first international standard cricket ground and we are confident this will open door for lot of cricket and its development.”
“We also plan to do the same with the men’s team and look forward in producing more cricket players through our initiatives and other future plans,” he added. “I can’t thank enough to the development manager Mr. Aminul Islam and the development officer from International cricket council (ICC) for their immense support and guidance towards this high-performance programme and for overall development of cricket in Bhutan.”
By Tandin Wangchuk
Press Officer, Bhutan Cricket