Junior cricket review

Cricket Switzerland Youth Development Report 2018

2018 has seen another successful year for Junior cricket in Switzerland.

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. Clubs and schools with active junior participation are

●    Basel Dragons Junior Cricket Club
●    Cossonay Cricket Club
●    La Châtaigneraie School (Ecole Internationale de Geneve)
●    Geneva Youth Regional Cricket Club
●    Gingins Cricket Club
●    Lyceum Alpnium
●    Zurich Crickets Cricket Club

It is estimated there are upwards of 450 juniors playing cricket in Switzerland.

The highlight of the junior season, the Zuoz Cricket Festival (16 & 17 June) was a success once again and was blessed by glorious weather. Many thanks to the sportsmaster, Paul Miles, at the Lyceum Alpnium and the organisers for putting on the tournament. Due to school trips and other obligations, a few of the U11 regulars were away so a tournament between three “franchise” sides was organised, plus a ZCCC vs Rest of Switzerland match. La Chataigneraie School continued their success to win the U13 event and Basel Dragons the U15. Congratulations to them all.

There was also the fourth installment of the other outdoor competition, the Suisse Romande Cup, hosted by Cossonay at U11 and U13, which rounded out the outdoor season. Congratulations to La Chat (U13) for their wins. The U15 event, hosted by GICC and Gingins was played with mixed teams and was a very competitive event. The start of the 2018/19 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 with the U13 event going to the last ball!

The start of the year saw the Basel Indoor tournament with the U13 event in particular very well attended with teams from Basel, Cossonay, La Chat, Luxembourg, Swiss U11s, Zurich Crickets and Zurich Sapphires. and split over two locations on the first day. Congratulations to Zurich (U11s), Swiss U11s (U13s) and Basel (U15s) for their wins.

The year was wrapped up with the Gingins Indoor tournaments in November. The U11 trophy was won by a Basel/Cossonay side. The U13s event was a thriller with one game ending in a tie and Luxembourg ultimately prevailing with a 1 wicket win. The U15s event was also close with GRYCC ultimately winning the title. Gingins also hosted match day for U19s.

The clubs also continued the commitment to quality coaching Basel continuing their summer camp with Twenty20 Cricket Company, camps with Scott Newman 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 East Molesey, Valley End, Rokeby School, T20 Academy, Weybridge and Windsor and won 4 of their 6 matches.

The U13s also toured Surrey with the U11s, playing matches against Capel, Weybridge, Tiffin and Rokeby Schools, Farnham and the T20 Academy.

After the success of last year, all three age groups were invited to the Coloured Clothing Tournament in August. The U11s and U13s were hosted at Leicester Grammar School and the U15s at Leicester University. All three age groups performed well in an intense week of cricket.

The U19s were invited to compete in the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Tournament in Barbados, and performed better than expected (winning half their games) against some tough competition.

Bob Barber Awards 2018
The junior season concludes by recognising the outstanding junior players with the Bob Barber Awards. The 2018 winners are:

U11 - Sasha Hall (ZCCC)
U13 - Kabir Mehta (Cossonay)
U15 - James West (BDJCC)
U17 - Dayn Pariaug (ZCCC)
U19 - Ruan Kruger & Nicholas Henderson (both ZCCC)

2019 Outlook
The 2018/19 season is well underway, and already it looks like it will be another competitive one!

Following action from Cricket Australia, the ECB have recommended new pitch lengths for junior cricket, in particular impacting U9, U11 and U13s. These see the pitches shortened by 2-3yds in an effort to reduce wides and provide batters with more playable deliveries. An experiment at the recent Basel U11 indoor tournament showed this to be the case, and given the tours to the UK will be played under these conditions it is recommended for Cricket Switzerland to follow suit.

Michael Hall
Cricket Switzerland Youth Development Officer