Could the start of the cricket season be just a month away? Nothing definite as yet, but the signs look promising as the Swiss Federal Government offer some light at the end of the tunnel.
On Thursday 9th April the Swiss Federal Council announced that the lockdown (the social distancing restrictions in place to contain the transmission of the Covid-19 corona virus) would be
extended by one week from Sunday 19th April to Sunday 26th April.
This came as no comfort to those hoping to take advantage of the wonderful weather forecast over the long easter weekend, but the Federal Council did offer some good news.
On Thursday 16th April the Federal Council will release details of the exit-strategy, the step by step approach to the gradual return to normality, beginning after Sunday 26th April.
How might these steps look? With the many self-employed on no income, retail outlets & the hospitality business on the verge of collapse and industry suffering, businesses are desperate to get back to work! So it can be expected that a return to work will be announced as a priority.
Then there is education and the return to schools & resumption of child-care services, the rescheduling of doctors/physiatric appointments & hospital operations. And lastly the entertainment industry.
Of particular interest to Cricket Switzerland is the resumption of sports.
One member of the national executive said, "At this conjuncture Cricket Switzerland is unable to announce when the 2020 season will commence. Swiss Olympic & local councils have a large say in when that might be. But if things all go according to plan, we could be looking at the end of May".
This would come as great relief to sports generally and to Cricket Switzerland. It would mean that the cricket season would be able to start with the minimum of disruption, with just a handful of scheduled competitive matches having to be cancelled.
But the lockdown would have left its mark. Preparations for the season have been severely impacted and fitness regimes acutely distrupted. There is a long list of domestic & international
senior & youth tournaments that have already been cancelled. Few will be rescheduled and it could still be too late for some remaining tournaments.
We have been inforrmed that the Cricket Switzerland executive is due to meet via video conference in mid-April. So we can look forward to learning more in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, everyone should take care! Respect the restrictions in place so we don't endanger the return to normality, and we look forward to seeing us all on a cricket field somewhere in Switzerland in the coming months!