Thailand’s and Bhutan’s Preparations for the ACC U-15 Cup in Dec.
Rashid Khan’s appointment as coach for the China U-15 team to play in Bangkok in December has been to focus of all attention in the run up to the tournament so far, however two of the other participating teams, namely, hosts Thailand, and Bhutan have also been preparing hard for the tournament where the top two teams will play in the Elite division next year.
Sixteen players from all around Thailand (mainly Bangkok, Khon Khaen, and Chiang Mai) were selected to participate in a seven day training camp at the Prem Tinsulanonda School Cricket Academy at the start of October. To my knowledge, the boys have been going through nets sessions, fitness, and fielding drills, and a couple of practice matches against a CMSCA (Chiang Mai Schools Cricket Alliance) Select XI. The squad will be trimmed down to fourteen before the start of the tournament which starts on the 14th of December. I will be back in Bangkok from the 19th of November and will be helping with the squad….so I should have more comprehensive updates closer to the start…i will also be a liason officer..during the tournament..for one of the teams..which should be interesting..can provide detailed updates each day..
That said, Thailand as the only ICC associate in the tournament needs to stamp its authority and win it comprehensively. Its good to see the association putting effort into preparing the squad for the tournament. I know its a talented squad with about 7-9 ethnic boys (to my knowledge), so it would be good if we came out on top..especially against Oman, Saudi, and Qatar.
Bhutan have selected 45 schoolboys from a recent school boy tournament to undergo selection trials for their U-15 squad. Bhutan are developing extremely fast, and even have their own full cricket ground with a few artificial center wickets and nets. According to the site, www.bhutancricket.org, the squad are training weekly, and a shortlist of 14 will be selected for the tournament. Apparently there are 2 or 3 national team players who are 14 or 15, who will be playing the tournament. Should be interesting to see how they perform against Qatar, Oman, and Maldives. I happen to think they will give these sides a fight if not more.