Prior to the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 27th February 2016, Cricket Switzerland President, Alexander Mackay, presents his report of the 2015 season.
"The winter months are an opportunity for me to recharge my batteries and acquaint myself with my family again, as the enthusiasm and conviction I have for cricket takes over my life from spring
to autumn. It also serves as an opportunity to plan for the coming year, and importantly to reflect on what has been.
Ably supported by Abraham Koshy (vice-President), last season was a successful year in terms of the organisation and development of cricket; another constructive 12 months, building on the strong foundations we have in place and the multitude of successes in recent years.
The year began as always, with our Annual General Meeting, at which St. Gallen was elevated to Associate status. At an Extraordinary General Meeting just before the season commenced we were pleased to welcome Geneva Sri Lankans Cricket Club as a new member of Cricket Switzerland.
With a reduction in overall sponsorship we were still confined to what we could feasibly achieve in the way of subsidising tours, tournaments, training, etc., by a very tight budget. Despite the financial hardship, our finances are healthy, not least because of the effort of our Treasurer, Clive Denney, but also due to the efforts of each and every Executive Committee member and numerous volunteers from our membership, all of whom deliver many hours for the benefit of this association for no personal financial reward.
Competitions Manager, Asvin Lakkaraju, with the assistance of his Committee, organised superbly two competitive domestic senior competitions (Cricket Switzerland Premier League and Mr. Pickwick Twenty20), which are the envy of many neighbouring associations. There are match reports for all of the nearly seventy games played. There are also reports from friendlies, family fun matches and local inter-club tournaments such as the Zuoz Cricket Festival and the prestigious Cricket on Ice spectacle.
Yeti Sinh continued his oversight of juniors playing cricket in all age categories i.e. U11, U13, U15, U17 & U19, all of which play regular competitive cricket and training sessions in
the winter & summer months, and whose achievements continue to be recognised by ex-England international Mr. Bob Barber.
Nasser Hussain (ex-England international captain) also visited Gingins again at their fund-raising charity dinner, and Basel repeated their Summer Cricket Camp run by T20 international.
We have the beginning of a women's cricket team, due to the energy and enthusiasm of our new Women's Cricket Development Officer, Veena Mampilly.
We have hosted senior and junior teams which have travelled to Switzerland and our squads have travelled abroad.
For me personally, the highlight was the senior tri-nation ODI international tour to Warsaw, which Switzerland won in temperatures exceeding 40°C, and at which I had the honour of umpiring. Chris Lodge, our International Manager, was instrumental in our successes during the year.
Nomads won the European Twenty20 champions league competition in Poland and
Winterthur won the International Cricket Festival in Zuoz.
Our junior national teams travelled to the UK (U11, U13 & U15), Luxembourg (U13), Austria (U13) & Belgium (U19) and the Junior Zuoz Tournamment remains the single largest junior
tournament in Switzerland, attracting 300+ juniors from all across the country.
Basel, Cossonay, Gingins & Zurich all host indoor & outdoor junior competitions and their efforts are to be congratulated.
On the training side ZCCC hosted more coaches' workshops and a further Level 1 Coaches Course.
Our officials' association, swissFOCUS, continues to run introduction courses for umpiring, something very important.
Communication to our members and our peers is important and was positive,plentiful and structured. We have a website that regularly publishes articles about cricket in Switzerland, a monthly eNewsletter, and a clear and effective social media strategy.
We also have the honorary services of Ken McKeown, whose guidance and administrative efforts have proven invaluable for our Swiss Olympic and ICC membership bids, which we hope will progress positively in the coming year.
In the media, Rajan Thambehalli's 2014 article on the pink cricket ball made the web pages of SportsImitatesLife & ESPNcricinfo last year.
Geneva XI Stars wrote an article on their anniversary year that made the “Tribune de Genéve” as did Cossonay on two occasions in the “Journal de Cossonay”.
Our umpire's association had an article published in the “ACO Newsletter”, while Cricket On Ice made SwissTV and the online journal “theCRICKETpaper”.
Finally, our endeavours in Warsaw were exposed on the “CricketEurope” website.
To conclude my report, I take this opportunity to thank all those involved in supporting Cricket in Switzerland, in whatever form and however generous. They include: Mr. Pickwick Pubs, Restaurant Egghölzli, DiscountSports, INOTEC, Specogna Immobiliean, Ineos, Pilatus & Fiederle AG, Wintech, our facebook friends, twitter followers, eNewsletter subscribers, website visitors, supporters, players and administrators.
We look forward to working with all of you in 2016, a year which has the potential to mark the beginning of a new era for Swiss cricket, but more about that later in the year!"
Yours in cricket,