By James Hardcastle
James Hardcastle reports on how Swiss U13s gained valuable experience in the Coloured Clothing U14 Tournament in Leicester, England.
Between the 6th and 10th August a squad of 12 of the Switzerland Under-13 team were available to take part in the annual Coloured Clothing Academy (CCA) U14 tournament. The CCA events cater for a range of Youth age-groups and has been a very useful connection for Swiss Cricket’s juniors. As with the other age groups competing in Leicester this year, the format provided for an intense series of ten Twenty20 matches. The team played every morning and every afternoon for 5 days, enjoying fine weather and only one minor rain delay.
The opponents were a blend of CC Academy players, English county representatives (such as from Northamptonshire) and guest players from as far as Dubai and India. The standard was very high, with some excellent players showcasing their skills during the week – including the Swiss players.
“This was the first time we had entered a full team at this level and it was a resounding success. The format allowed all the boys to participate and gain batting and field experience. The
CCA tournament is now a firm feature of the U13 calendar” said Pete Veal, the U13 head coach.
The Swiss began the first days brightly, and grew very well into the tournament. Finn and Luca earned the day one ‘caps’ for best bowler and best batsman, respectively. All players had their special moments, including Thomas A’s winning four; Thomas G’s wicket hat-trick; Alastair’s diving catch and Arkan’s one-handed take.
The tournament provided a rich array of lessons and experiences:
Firstly, an intense five-day period of competitive cricket is invaluable to each player. The team were able to learn, adapt and test new skills on new surfaces and new conditions (grass!).
Secondly, the players faced a very high level of opposition, with excellent technique and well-drilled fielding in every match. The Swiss boys did really well, beating each of the other teams in at least one match.
Thirdly, the team learned to play together, under pressure. They came through the lows and enjoyed the emotion of all the highs. It was a great lesson in team-work and team ethics.
“Learning how to build team spirit and a winning mentality are really important, and can only be truly experienced through good contests. The boys’ final match – which they narrowly lost – showed their progress. They deserve full credit for their performance and growth this week.“ said Dr. Mohammed Shafiulla, assistant coach.
The tournament was excellent, competitive preparation for those players moving up to Under-15, and a great confidence-boost for those U13 remaining with the team to play again next year!
Many thanks to the coaches, all the supporting parents and relatives (the Swiss crowd were the most vocal!), and to Cricket Switzerland for the opportunity.
|1||Vadim B||Zurich Crickets Cricket Club|
|2||Luca S||La Chataigneraie|
|3||Kai S||La Chataigneraie|
|4||Arkan P||Geneva Regional Youth Cricket Club|
|5||Fin R||Gingins Cricket Club|
|6||Alastair N||Geneva Regional Youth Cricket Club|
|7||Finnian N||Geneva Regional Youth Cricket Club|
|8||Adarsh R||Geneva Regional Youth Cricket Club|
|9||Greg V||Basel Dragon Cricket Club|
|10||Thomas A||Gingins Cricket Club|
|11||Thomas G||Cossonay Cricket Club|
|12||Harry H||La Chataigneraie|