In a quiet way, tiny Bhutan appears to be making giant strides in cricket. The Bhutan Cricket Council Board (BCCB) won the 'Best Women's Cricket Initiative' award during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) development programme annual awards 2012 held for the Asian Region.
For the fourth time in six years the BCCB has been recognised for its developmental work, Kuensel, the largest circulated Bhutanese newspaper, reported.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) nominated Bhutan along with cricket boards from Oman, Singapore, Malaysia and Iran. The awards, which have been running since 2002, form part of the ICC's commitment to promoting excellence in cricket development outside the ICC's Full Members.
"The ICC Development Programme, together with ICC's Associate and Affiliate Members, is dedicated to the significant growth of the sport around the world," ICC Global Development Manager Tim Anderson said.
"Considerable progress has been made in this regard in recent years, and these awards provide an opportunity to recognise the outstanding programmes, initiatives and people that are contributing to this expansion."
"The Award categories reflect the important development aspects of the ICC Strategic Plan that strives for cricket to be a 'Bigger, Better, Global Game' by 2015," he added.
The ACC award winners will join the winners from the four ICC Regions for judging prior to the announcement of the ICC Global Awards later in the year.
Under the guidance of the ACC, BCCB first initiated women's cricket in the country in 2006. Bhutan's first national squad was formed for the ACC U-19 tournament in Thailand in 2008.
The Bhutanese team finished sixth from the 12 teams participating in the tournament. However, two years later in the same tournament the women's team came runners-up while in 2012 they returned home in third position.
Bhutan has made giant strides in the world of cricket and further development work is taking place. BCCB has plans of making a new ground in Gelephu.
First Published: January 17, 2013, 4:44 pm