Ultimate Destination for Cricket Enthusiasts

Bhutan Cricket also collaborates with local tour operators to facilitate cricket matches in various picturesque locations across the Kingdom…reports Asian Lite News

Bhutan is now establishing itself as a premier destination for enthusiasts seeking a unique cricket experience. Bhutan provides a cricket experience like no other, with some of the world’s highest cricket grounds under their belt, and where the love for the sport intertwines with the tranquillity of its surroundings. The country’s cricket grounds boast stunning views that create an unforgettable atmosphere for both players and spectators.

Cricket is now considered one of the fastest-growing sports in Bhutan. Numerous efforts in terms of training, infrastructure & tournaments have spread throughout the country, penetrating even remote areas such as Merak and Sakteng in the far east of Bhutan. Now the Bhutan Cricket Association conducts many school tournaments and grassroots programmes for schools and coaching across the country. 

The emergence of cricket in Bhutan dates back to 1999 when televisions were first introduced in Bhutan, giving people the opportunity to watch the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Gradually, Bhutanese started to play in the stadiums and even played in various international tournaments. 

Bhutan Cricket has come a long way since its admission to the ICC in 2001. Today, there are seven active districts for cricket. The new Gelephu International Cricket Ground, which will soon be inaugurated, will become the first cricket ground in Bhutan that will meet international standards. So far, the Bhutan Cricket Association has trained 60,000 people in Bhutan from youth to senior age, across 18 dzongkhags (districts), including 1070 monks and 60 nuns.  

Bhutan Cricket also collaborates with local tour operators to facilitate cricket matches in various picturesque locations across the Kingdom. One of Bhutan’s primary venues, the Gelephu ground, situated in the southern part of Bhutan bordering India, offers a unique experience for clubs or teams from India seeking to play in Bhutan. Despite the hot weather, Gelephu ground provides a convenient and proper-sized playing field, making it an ideal choice. Additionally, cricket matches are offered in Thimphu and Punakha, each offering its charm and appeal. While the ground sizes may vary, the experience gained in these locations is bound to be mesmerizing. Particularly notable is the Punakha Ground, located near the majestic Dzong, enhancing its appeal and accessibility for cricket enthusiasts. Guests can have unforgettable cricket experiences amidst Bhutan’s breathtaking landscapes.

“On behalf of the Bhutan Cricket Family, I extend a warm invitation to all cricket enthusiasts worldwide to join us in experiencing the joy of cricket amidst the breathtaking backdrop of Bhutan’s natural beauty. Every stroke of the bat and every delivery you bowl will transform into a unique and unforgettable cricketing experience in the majestic Himalayan landscape. We wholeheartedly welcome you to be a part of the spirit of the game and immerse yourself in the serenity of Bhutan while relishing the thrill of cricket. Cricket-Happiness is a Game,” said Damber Gurung, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bhutan Cricket Council Board.

Gelephu International Cricket Ground is the first cricket ground in Bhutan that will meet international standards. Located at a comfortable five-minute drive away from the main town of Gelephu, the facility covers 6 acres of land and has two entrances. The playing field spanning 3.5 acres is equipped with 6 turf pitches for matches, net facilities (2 artificial pitches and 4 turf), washrooms (male/female) and natural seating for up to 2000 spectators. 

Jigmethang Cricket Ground in Thimphu is located in the north of Thimphu city. A leisurely walk of around five minutes, alongside the Raidak River will take you to this hidden gem. Sporting a synthetic wicket, the ground is 126.82 meters in length, 85.8 meters in breath and is any amateur cricketer’s paradise! Lush green pine trees, a breathtaking view of the mountains, the constant sound of flowing water, and the chirping birds will make for a unique setting for your cricketing experience. Furthermore, feel draped in Bhutan’s culture, sitting in a colourful Bhutanese tent as the pavilion! 

“Bhutan is not just a cricket destination; it’s an experience that combines the love for the game with the unmatched beauty of our country. We welcome cricket enthusiasts from around the world to enjoy the unique cricketing experience in Bhutan,” concluded Dorji Dhradhul, the Director General of the Department of Tourism.

To cater to the growing interest in cricket tourism, travel agencies in Bhutan are now offering specialized packages for cricket enthusiasts. These packages include the ground fee, match officials, equipment, lunch, refreshments, cricket opponent, first aid and even trophies.

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