Snow falling on an almost daily basis signifies how far away we still are from the beginning of the new cricket season.
But it is an opportunity to plan & prepare strategies for the season ahead and for me personally to put the finishing touches to Cricket on Ice, which I find myself very involved in, and which is the main focus of my attentions just now.
Cricket on Ice however, isn’t the only domestic cricket activity in the winter months. There are clubs that are fortunate to have cost effective indoor facilities available to them, something to
remind the rest of us of the potential still to be realised if it were not for the lack of financial resources.
Access to externally generated financial resources therefore remains a priority and a continued effort is to be made in 2017 to focus on this, along with creating more exposure for our sport. Naturally membership of the ICC & Swiss Olympic remain high on our list. And although we have been successful in attracting an additional supporter for 2017 in SwizT Watches, we all need to make a concerted effort to support our current sponsors by visiting their website, using their services & buying their products, particularly Mr. Pickwick, Discount Sports, Health First & Cool Down, if we are to retain them for future years.
2016 started as always with our Annual General Meeting. Gone are the days of arguing for arguments sake, and individuals putting their own agendas before cricket, and we held another constructive meeting. A particular highlight was welcoming the cricket clubs of Geneva, Freiburg Nomads and Zurich Sapphires to Cricket Switzerland, increasing our membership to twenty-four clubs and associations and just one short of our goal.
We had the highest number of teams participating in the senior 40 over league & senior Mr. Pickwick Twenty20 competition since their respective creation, a reflection on the storming job done by the league chairman & his team. Again, every game is covered by a cricHQ electronic scorecard and nearly all have a match report. These two competitions, along with various friendlies and domestically organised competitions make for an impressive list of competitive senior matches, not to mention the international activities at every age level and for the first time a Swiss Women’s XI in Austria.
Throughout the year Zurich (Summer), Basel (Spring), Gingins (Autumn) & Cossonay (Leman Cup) all host junior competitions, either indoors, outdoors, or both, and again it is thanks to the
dedication of some great coaches along with external coaching resources such as G-Force and Twenty20 International and the unquestionable support of so many parents. Unquestionably our youth development
programme continues to lead the way in Europe.
The development of cricket in Switzerland was supported by cricket camps & tours, coaching camps, coaching courses & officials’ courses (2 umpiring & 2 scoring) and our junior talent was recognized by the winners of the Bob Barber Awards once again.
We also ran a Cricket Day as a company team-building event for an advertising agency in Zurich, something that provides us with vital expose and could develop into a good generator of vital resources - not only to help reduce the costs of the game, but to subsidise international tours and assist in developing domestic facilities.
To do all these things I am supported by a dedicated and talented team that make up the national executive, but I have a special note of thanks to our Honorary Secretary, Ken McKeown, for the very important part he continued to play in 2016.
I look forward to serving this association again in 2017 and to seeing as many of you as possible on a sports ground turned cricket field next season.