Gasping for breath isn’t unusual at an elevation of 10,000 ft (3,048 metres). But that didn’t stop 180 cricketers from running hard and bowling fast in a Chinese obsession called Tawang for close to a month.
Tawang, 580 km northwest of Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar, has no cricket ground unlike another high-altitude centre of Tibetan Buddhism — Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. So the local Kemetang Youth Upliftment Society chose the multi-purpose Yid Gha Choezin field for the Tawang Premier League (TPL).
The T20 tournament comprising 12 teams from across Tawang district started on May 12. It concluded on June 3 with Lumla Royals defeating SSB Cricket XI by seven runs in the final. Batting first, Lumla Royals had set a target of 108 runs.
“It was amazing to see almost the entire town, the monks included, turn up at the field every day for the cricket matches.
“The matches were intense despite biting chillness,” said government employee Jambey Tsering.