HRH Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck inaugurates country’s first international standard cricket ground in Gelephu

His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck inaugurated the country’s first international standard cricket ground in Gelephu, today. The Gelephu International Cricket Ground is expected to revolutionise the game of cricket in the country and provide a platform for Bhutanese cricketers to hone their skills and compete at the international level.   

The event marked a significant milestone in developing the country’s sporting infrastructure, signalling a commitment to promote the game of cricket and foster sportsmanship.

The president of the Bhutan Cricket Council Board said that the ground will play a pivotal role in the growth, development, and enhancement of cricket in the country.

“Realisation of our long-awaited dream, Gelephu International Cricket Ground will serve as a hub for local, national, regional, and international tournaments as well as a training facility for national teams and various cricket-related programmes. Plans for cricket tourism and veteran tournaments are also underway,” said Thinley Wangchuk  Dorji, President of the Bhutan Cricket Council Board.

Representatives from the International Cricket Council present at the inauguration said doubters who questioned Bhutan when a proposal to fund the ground construction was made have been proven wrong with the inauguration today.

“Bhutan is one of the ICC’s fastest-growing members of the international cricketing family. This is not a boast I make to you because I stand here on Bhutanese soil. Let me tell you why I say this. Bhutan’s participation numbers in the ICC tournaments have increased by 123 per cent in the last five years, notwithstanding the period of COVID-19. This makes Bhutan one of the fastest growing members in world cricket,” said  Imran Khawaja, Deputy Chairman of the International Cricket Council.

The ground is also expected to enable teams from across the border in Assam to participate in tournaments in Gelephu.

“Our players can come and play here. Our relationship will be strengthened after the opening of the cricket stadium,” said  Pramod Boro, the Chief Executive Member of the Bodoland Territorial Council.

At the inauguration, cricket for persons with disabilities and the Bhutan India Friendship Association Cup were also launched.

The Gelephu International Cricket Ground was constructed at a cost of around Nu 60 M with funds from the Asian Cricket Council, the International Cricket Council, and the Bhutan Olympic Committee.

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