On Saturday 16th May Zurich Crickets CC was allowed to begin training for the first time outdoors in 2020. However, it was a day of training very unlike what the club is used
Having fulfilled the conditions stipulated by the sports authorities in Winterthur, which meant not only submitting the Cricket Switzerland concept that was approved by Swiss Olympic, but also ZCCC’s own club concept, as well as a special formula stating exactly when in what form the groups of five players would train, permission was granted.
The first players arrived for their 11am sessions. Due to the very restrictive measures in place, and on advice from the authorities, the youngest players will have to wait several more weeks before they start training again. It is mainly the over 15-year-old players who are taking advantage of the sessions in May and early June, together with some national Under 13 players. After ensuring that the players in the opening two groups of four players were aware of the new rules, the two coaches could begin the first the two-hour session.
The restrictions in place mean that every player must have his own individual marked ball and is not allowed to touch any other ball. As a result, no fielding is possible, nor is any catching,
and no wicket-keeping, either. The Deutweg ground has a cricket net so one group used this while the second group practiced on the centre wicket where two portable nets were erected to avoid
bowlers having to chase down every ball they bowl.
After a two-hour session, the players were tired but exuberant at having at last had the opportunity to wield a bat and get some bowling under their belts. They then had ten minutes to disperse. The next two groups arrived and made ready for their session. In this way, 25 players were able to get outdoors and enjoy once more the thwack of leather on willow, and on hands that have grown soft in recent weeks.
We look forward to at least having this outlet for our players in the weeks to come, and will hope that by sticking to the rules carefully laid down by Swiss Olympic and the local sports authorities we will have perhaps played our part in convincing the powers that be that cricket matches can made possible sometime in June. Cricket training like this, as Zurich Crickets found out, does take some getting used to, though.