Yeti Sinh, Cricket Switzerland's Youth Devlopment Officer, publishes his report ahead of the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Saturday 27th February 2016.
2015 has been a good year for our country’s junior clubs, players, parents and coaches.
To remind our readers, junior cricket in Switzerland is an entirely voluntary affair, with great effort and distances being put in by willing parents and coaches, to ensure that our future generation embodies the love of the game and plays the sport in a true spirit of sportsmanship.
Youth Cricket is played in the age groups of Under 9s (early starters), Under 11s, 13s, 15s, 17s and 19s. The clubs and schools involved are:
- Basel Dragons Junior Cricket Club
- College du Leman
- Cossonay Cricket Club
- Ecole Internationale de Geneve – La Châtaigneraie
- Geneva Region Youth Cricket Club
- Gingins Cricket Club
- Lyceum Alpinium
- Zurich Crickets Cricket Club
We estimate over 450 youth playing cricket in Switzerland.
Activities during 2015 were:
The Junior Zuoz Cricket Festival, 5 – 7 June 2015, 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 addition to Zuoz, we have had indoor tournaments being organized by the Basel Dragons in February 2015, and November 2015. Both were well attended by the different age groups from Swiss Clubs and I thank Basel for their ongoing contributions.
Finally, the culmination of our outdoor season was the Leman Cup in Cossonay, where the best of the Suisse Romande’s take on the best of the Suisse Allemand’s. A highly competitive, but fun affair, enjoyed by our junior cricketers and parents alike.
Tournaments and cricket tours would not be fun without the hard work and trainings of our coaches – several training sessions were held during the year, at locations ranging from Zurich, Wnterthur, Basel, Cossonay, Geneva and Gingins. Highlights were sessions with Manoj Parmar, Hampshire Coaches and the Twenty20 Cricket Company.
The Swiss Under 11s toured UK from 14 to 17 May 2015. Highlights of their experience were a tour of the Lords Cricket Ground and matches against surrey district teams – a steep learning
The Swiss Under 13s travelled into the UK from 14 to 17 May 2015 as well. They played against opponents such as Deando Ruxley CC, Horsley and Send CC and Rokeby School first XI. The highlight of this tour was a sparkling hundred scored by young Luke Specogna – the first time a Swiss Junior touring team member to the UK has scored a hundred!
Thereafter the Swiss 13s travelled to Luxembourg to play a 3 nations tournament vs Luxembourg and Belgium. 13 – 14 June 2015. We were quite excited with our prospects, and entered two teams for this tournament. The Swiss B team comprised mainly of budding 12 year olds, who would form the core of the Swiss 13s in the following year – a great learning experience for all. The Swiss A team finished the tournament as runners up to Belgium.
Not to be left behind the Swiss Under 15s were active through the year. The team toured UK from 8 to 12 July 2015. A hard tour, with some strong opposition against Great and Little Tew CC, Kidlington CC and MP Academy Teams. Our youth held their head high, winning three games on tour.
The Under 17s and 19s are aggregated into the Swiss Colts, who play the Swiss Senior leagues. Thus, in 2015, the Colts participated in the Cricket Switzerland Premier League and the Mr Pickwick T20 Cup. Always a challenge to take on senior teams, but our youth held their head high; with Captain Ashwin Vinod scoring a hundred against CERN in a T20 match – another first for Swiss Junior Cricket.
The Swiss 19s also travelled out to Belgium, to play a European 5 Nations Tournament from 11 to 15 August. This is the highlight of our cricketing calendar and the 19s did not disappoint. Victories against Luxembourg and Germany (eventual champions) were well fought affairs and confirmed to us that Swiss Junior Cricket is fast maturing and holds great respect amongst the European nations. In addition to the victory against a strong German team, we were delighted that young Jai Sinh was awarded the Best Bowler of the tournament!
The junior season concludes by recognizing the outstanding junior players with the Bob Barber Awards. 2015’s winners are:
U11 – Tom HARPER
U13 – Luke SPECOGNA
U15 – Thomas ALLEN
U17 – Jai SINH
U19 –Ashwin VINOD
Finally, a round of thanks and gratitude to persons and agencies who have very kindly extended financial support for the Swiss Junior Cricket movement:
• Mario and Catherine Illien
• Herzog Kuechenbau AG
• Carl Meier Sohn + Co
• SMC Pneumatik
• Specogna Immobilien
• Rothweiler AG
• Fraumünster AG
• Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG
• Emil Frey AG
• Parents and Coaches of the member cricket clubs
As we prepare for season 2016, we hope that all the youth in Switzerland continue to enjoy and learn from the beautiful sport of cricket!
Youth Development Officer