Cricket in the East of Switzerland

One million cricket fans were focused on the Lake Constance region last week

The "Dream 11 European Cricket Series" was held last week in St.Gallen. One million viewers watched the tournament on the Internet. Team captain Nasir Mahmood now hopes that there will be better training conditions for cricket in St.Gallen in the future.

Michel Bossart (Der Ostschweiz)
Published on 01. July 2020

Nasir Mahmood, St.Gallen Cricket Club team captain.
Nasir Mahmood, St.Gallen Cricket Club team captain.

Cricket as a sport is completely unknown in Switzerland. Really? Not quite. The umbrella organization "Cricket Switzerland" has been in existence for 40 years. It was founded in 1980 at the Australian Embassy in Geneva. Today, 28 clubs from all over Switzerland are affiliated to it. One of them is the "St. Gallen Cricket Club" (SGCC). The club was founded on 1 March 2014 with the aim of making the sport better known in Eastern Switzerland.

Last week, the "Dream 11 European Cricket Series" took place for the first time in St. Gallen and for the first time in Switzerland. Seven teams from all over Switzerland competed in a total of 25 matches from 22nd to 26th June. The Zurich Nomads won ahead of Olten. The SGCC finished sixth, or second last.

CST10 (22-26-6.2020)

SGCC team captain Nasir Mahmood said: "During the whole week of the tournament, the organisers told me we counted about 300,000 clicks on Youtube. The tournament was also broadcast live to the UK on Freesport. In total, around one million people watched the tournament in St. Gallen Gründenmoos."

Cricket is very popular throughout the Commonwealth and is the national sport par excellence in some countries. Mahmood says that with one million viewers, it is particularly pleasing that a promotional video for the Lake Constance region was shown before each match. And promptly: "Many people who have seen the video have already told me that they absolutely want to visit our region.

One year ago, the SGCC organized a local tournament in Gründenmoos. Planning was well advanced  for this year also, but had to be put on hold because of Corona. Now Mahmood hopes that the second St. Gallen Cricket Cup can be played on 15 and 16 August.

Nasir Mahmood, the SGCC was founded in 2014 to make cricket better known in Eastern Switzerland. Are there already some Swiss who are interested in the sport? For example, schoolchildren?

Unfortunately, no. One reason is probably that we don't have a fixed place where we train and where we could invite people to join us or to have a try. We always train when we are enough players and find a place where we don't disturb anybody. We asked the sports office in St.Gallen and hope that we will find support in our search for a permanent place. Another reason is our modest financial situation. I would like to introduce the sport to schools or activate other advertising channels. Up to now, however, we have lacked the means for this. Hopefully we will soon find a main sponsor who will support us in promoting this wonderful sport!

The SGCC did not do so well in the tournament. Why?

During the Corona time we could hardly train and we were simply badly prepared for the tournament. So it is all the more important now that we find a solution to our space problem together with the St. Gallen sports office. In addition, we had to restructure the team a bit because of some player changes.

So what happens next? What is on the agenda for the SGCC?

We urgently need a permanent cricket wicket. Now we have to set up a mobile wicket before every training session. This is exhausting, energy draining and takes almost an hour each time. Next week the league competitions will start again. We are now concentrating on this and hope to win the league title!

CST10 (22-26-6.2020)

 

This article originally appeared on "Der Ostschweiz"