In a year when Sri Lanka became the ICC T20 World Champions, 2014 proved a harmonious year for Swiss cricket, and an exciting start to the continuation of the premier national cricket organisation under the banner of Cricket Switzerland.
We continued to set new standards and consolidate the achievements of recent years.
For me personally I very much enjoyed my interview by Ben Manning's 'The World Cricket Show' on
BlogTalkRadio. On the media front, Olten & Cossonay also had articles published in local newspapers and Rajan Thambehalli wrote an excellent article about Cricket On Ice that was published on
the Sports Imitates Life web pages last year.
Parallel to chasing our ambitions of Swiss Olympic membership, an assured way of regaining our affiliate ICC membership, we have continued to build and execute a very solid foundation of domestic & international cricket by playing and developing cricket at all age levels.
And our efforts and achievements are not going amiss. Our website, eNewsletter and social media pages (Facebook & Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & our very own YouTube channel), are read by
our peers (the ICC & Swiss Olympic Committee) and the rest of the world (these include current & prospective sponsors), the statistics of which make interesting reading and continue to
show a trend of growth & interest in Swiss cricket.
As mentioned, the year began with the renewal and rebranding of cricket in Switzerland as a new, vibrant and exciting association called Cricket Switzerland. The vibrancy and dynamism I believe is reflected in our new logo, designed by Isha Shukla.
We appointed our first ever Women’s Cricket Development Officer, Ms Neha Maheshschwari, & welcomed a new junior cricket club, La Châtaigneraie School Cricket Club and a new senior club, St. Gallen CC, both of which were quickly integrated and have become an integral part of the association.
Moving on to the field, Nomads made an unprecedented clean sweep, winning both senior competitions, the Pickwick Twenty20 and the McGee's 40 over league.
Fifty-eight competitive matches were played in these two competitions alone, and exclude all the junior and senior tournament matches (like Zuoz, Cresta, Cricket on Ice) or friendlies in the winter & summer months.
Our national XI surpassed the record set in 2013 of matches played by playing no fewer than 10 games. In the annual David Barmes Memorial Trophy, Olten came out victors; at the Zuoz International
Festival a Swiss Invitational XI wasn't able to beat two-time winners Milan CC; and our national team gained some invaluable experience during a tour to Utrecht in Holland. Most importantly however, Switzerland finished runners-up in the first Central European Development league.
For details of senior cricket activities refer to the International Match Manager’s & League Chairman’s reports.
The Junior Zuoz Cricket Festival, always the highlight of the junior season, was a
massive success yet again, not least because of the support of Tom Butt at the Lyceum Alpinum and the efforts of John Millar and his team.
In the U11 age group the year began with a national training camp organised by Basel Dragons & T20International, which was followed up in the summer when T20International ran a summer cricket camp in Basel for boys & girls aged 6 to 17 years.
A great performance rewarded the Dragons U11’s with a victory over Luxembourg by 4 wickets to retain the trophy in their home 2014 Basel indoor tournament and in the summer U11s from across country took part in the Leman Cup. Finally, Gingins U11 Autumn Tournament (the first of a series of youth tournaments in November), was held at the ESEP school in Borex/Crassier.
In April Basel Dragons produced a dominant performance to win their own U13 tournament the Basel U13
Indoors, for the first time.
Our U13s toured the UK at the beginning of June, followed later that same month by a Luxembourg Under 13s 3 nation invitation tournament at which Cricket Switzerland entered an U13 and an U12 side.
Later in the year the year, the best of our U13s played in the Leman Cup, and finally the Gingins U13 Autumn Indoor Tournament was held at the ESEP school in Borex/Crassier.
Basel Dragons travelled to Munich to take part in the Bavaria Cup in March and organised a national U15 cricket tournament at Pfaffenholz on 5th & 6th April. Additionally, a Swiss Under 15 XI team finished second in a 4-nation tournament in Denmark. And, as did all the age groups, the U15s season ended with the Gingins U15 indoor tournament at the ESEP school in Borex/Crassier.
In addition to competing in the Mr Pickwick Twenty20 & McGee’s 40 over league, the Swiss Colts travelled to North Hampshire to play four games in as many days from Thursday 29th May to Sunday 1st June and had a very successful 4 nation tournament in Paris, the only team to beat the hosts & eventual winners France.
The junior season concluded when Cricket Switzerland recognised the outstanding junior players in the U11, U13, U15, U17 & U19s at a dinner held in Geneva on Saturday 8th November 2014 at the
Bob Barber Awards 2014.
For specific details regarding youth development activities refer to Yeti Sinh's Youth Development Officer’s report.
A highlight of the 2014 Swiss cricket season was definitely the whirlwind 6-day tour to Switzerland by the Pakistan Cricket Association for the Physically Handicapped (PCAPH), hailed a great success by all concerned.
I take my umpire's hat off to Madame Huong Huynh for her energy, determination and application in making it all possible.
Also on a charitable note, on Thursday 25th September Nasser Hussain (the ex-England Cricket Captain) attended a Gala Dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Geneva organised by Gingins Cricket Club in aid of the Club and the Chance to Dream charity.
On a sad note we lost Peter MacLaverty† last year. Peter, someone I was personally very
fond of, was involved in the inaugural meeting of the association in 1980 and was an inspiration to all that played cricket with him. It was a pleasure to work with him on the executive and at
meetings over the many years he was involved, for which Peter received a Services to Cricket Award in 2012.
The CCAS & Hampshire elite coaches helped us run three coaching workshops, the first
coaching workshop early in the year and two further coaching sessions at the end of the
season, while Gingins coordinated a further Level One coaching course.
Gingins also ran a U15 & U17 coaching weekend with Dutch international Ahmad Zulfiqar in March.
Additionally, Chris Lodge attended the 2014 ICC Europe Regional Coaching Conference in Utrecht.
swissFOCUS ran a further Introduction to Umpiring course, but regrettably one
introduction to umpiring and a scoring basics course had insufficient participants.
There was insufficient interest to run an ECB ACO Level 1 course, a reflection of the shortage of volunteer umpires in Switzerland perhaps.
Importantly, money is being invested in the future of the game in this country. Two new Notts Sport pitches were laid last year, in CERN & in Winterthur, and Cossonay erected the first
Thanks to the financial contributions from Saubertec, Pickwicks and McGees, and the
support of Egghölzli & DiscountSports, we raised a record amount of sponsorship.
However, most important of all is you, irrespective whether a reader, a fan, supporter, player or administrator of cricket in Switzerland.
Cricket Switzerland intends to continue to carry the Swiss flag in the cricketing world. We have already received invitations to an ever increasing number of competitions, from Australia,
Argentina, Canada, Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Belgium, and Spain. And even to be part of a
Mediterranean Premier League!
And we are on the verge of organising a kit deal with Wintech to kit out all our national teams with quality outfits at greatly discounted prices, with an option for coloured cricket clothing for clubs in our Pickwick Twenty20.
I look forward eagerly to another year as President and working with a great team of volunteers who make up the national executive.
And perhaps I'll see you at Cricket on Ice in St Moritz in February, but for those who don't make it, at our AGM in February or on a cricket field this coming season.
Yours in cricket,