by Michael Hall
2016 season saw another successful year for Junior cricket in Switzerland. Firstly however, I must say thank you and best wishes to Yeti Sihn who stepped down as Youth Development officer due to health issues.
Junior cricket in Switzerland is only made possible by a purely voluntary effort of parents and coaches, putting in time and many kilometers for the future generation of cricketers.
Junior Cricket is played in age groups of Under 11 and below, 13s, 15s, 17s and 19s and it is estimated that there are upwards of 450 juniors playing cricket in Switzerland.
Clubs and schools with active junior participation are:
The highlight of the junior season, the Zuoz Cricket Festival (4 & 5 June 2016) was a massive success once again, even though it was affected by very poor weather that blighted the Swiss summer. Huge thanks to Tom Butt at the Lyceum Alpnium and Laurence Pariaug and team for putting on the tournament in very difficult circumstances.
And congratulations to Basel Dragons for winning in all age groups.
There was also the second installment of the other outdoor competition, the Suisse Romande Cup, hosted by Cossonay and GRYCC, which rounded out the outdoor season. The start of the 2016/17 season was once again marked by the Leman Cup where a team from the East of Switzerland (Basel & Zurich) take on the best of the West (Cossonay, Gingins, GRYCC, La Chat). This time the weather was good, and players, parents and coaches enjoyed some thrilling cricket.
The indoor season was bookended with two indoor tournaments hosted by Gingins in Geneva in March and November. Both tournaments were well attended and saw some great cricket. Many thanks to Gingins for their ongoing contributions.
The clubs also continued the commitment to quality coaching, with Gingins hosting a level I coaching course; Basel continuing their summer camp with Twenty20 Cricket Company and Zurich Crickets hosting camps with coaches from Hampshire.
At the international level, national coaches were selected for the age groups, and squads were picked for a number of tours to the UK at U11, U13, U15 and U19.
The Swiss U11s toured Surrey over the Ascension long weekend, playing 6 matches in four days as well as a training session hosted by Twenty20. They played a number of club sides such as the T20 Academy, Effingham, Thames Ditton and won all of their matches except against a strong Rokeby School first XI - a fantastic achievement for a young side. They then went to Luxembourg for a triangular with Belgium. Sadly this was played indoors due to the weather but the team didn’t let that affect them and won all their matches.
The U13s toured Oxfordshire in mid-May, hosted by level 3 coach Manoj Parmer. They played a number of matches against the MP Academy and Horspath as well as taking part in training sessions led by Manoj. The Swiss went undefeated and highlights included Ismail Zaidi hitting 51* off 53 balls against Horspath.
The U15s also toured Oxfordshire, this time in mid-July and again hosted by Manoj. They played a number of teams such as Lord William’s School, Horspath and the MP Academy. They took one victory and had a number of very tight results including one tie!
The U19s toured Surrey in late July and played a number of club sides, including acting as a curtain raiser for a Jason Roy charity
match at Reigate Priory CC. The Swiss side performed well, winning three of their four matches, including the experience of playing in front of a big crowd.
The U17s and U19s also continued as the Swiss Colts, playing in the Swiss Senior League. They competed in both the 40 over Premier League and the Mr Pickwick T20 Cup. Playing against seniors provided tough challenge, but a valuable experience for all involved.
The junior season concludes by recognising the outstanding junior players with the Bob Barber Awards. 2016’s winners
● U11 - Kabir Mehta
● U13 - Ismail Zaidi
● U15 - Luke Specogna
● U17 - Ruan Kruger
● U19 - Ashwin Vinod
Junior cricket is very dependent on the tireless efforts of many people, from those involved in keeping the clubs running, the coaches and the clubs that host tournaments, matches and professional coaching. Huge thanks to all of them and of course to Yeti for his contributions to junior cricket.
Also huge thanks to those persons and agencies who have very kindly extended financial support for Junior Cricket in Switzerland:
● Herzog Küchenbau AG
● Carl Meier Sohn + Co
● Specogna Immobilien
● Rothweiler AG
● Fraumünster Versicherungs-Treuhand AG
● Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG
● Emil Frey AG
The 2016/17 season is well underway, and already it looks like it will be another competitive one!
Cricket Switzerland Youth Development Officer