Kikam Bhutia, 29, is happy high since she has become the first woman from the Northeast to be appointed as a member of the coaching staff of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – conducted training camp. The camp is slated to be held in Imphal, Manipur from April 23 to May 13.

BCCI bestowed the responsibilities of Sikkim women’s cricket team on Bhutia. Now she intends to coach them as fielding and wicket keeping trainer for the upcoming Under-19 (Girls) Zonal Cricket academy for North East & Bihar Zone.

“Twenty-five girls from the northeastern states and Bihar, including four from Sikkim, have been selected for the camp that will conclude on May 13. Apart from training the girls, I hope to learn from other coaches here and share the knowledge gained from them with our girls when I am back in Sikkim,” said an excited Bhutia to The Telegraph.

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While IPL season is dominating the country’s matrix now, Bhutia and her cricket story is one of a kind. The Tadong, native has represented Sikkim in numerous national level tournaments. This player-turned-coach completed her Level B coaching course at National Cricket Academy in 2010. She is the only Level B women’s coach in Northeast Zone.

“I have both played for and coached Sikkim teams. Our under-19 girls did well in the Northeast and Bihar zone tournament in Dhanbad last year,” she said.

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Not the first time Bhutia has donned the coach’s hat. She had been an intern coach for the Indian women’s national camp at National Cricket Academy, Bangalore in 2011 and intern coach for the East Zonal camp U-19 in 2015.

An MBA graduate, Bhutia said she has other business interest too. “I took to cricket at a very young age. I used to watch boys play in our neighbourhood (Tadong in Gangtok). Initially, the seniors were reluctant to let me play because of the hard cricket ball. Slowly, I started fielding and then batting and bowling,” said the bowling all-rounder.

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With this new role, she is the second Sikkimese coach to be given an opportunity. The first person being Sonam Palden who served BCCI as fielding coach for North Zone Camp at Dharmashala in 2009.

Feature Image Credit: Kikam Bhutia/Facebook

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