The 2020 cricket season began like so many others with a successful Cricket on Ice Trophy in St Moritz. At the AGM we welcomed two new faces to the Cricket Switzerland Executive, Thileepan Rasalingam & Amit Kumar Shukla. We also welcomed two new clubs, Novartis CC & Pakhtoon Zalmi CC.
But due to the Covid-19 corona virus pandemic that swept across the world, 2020 was to prove a challenging year in so many ways.
In early March, when the federal government introduced a lockdown to slow the infection rate of Covid-19 and it was doubtful that there would be a season at all. Monitoring the developments and with strict adherence to all the required measures to ensure the safety of our members & their families, we submitted a concept that allowed us to begin, first with training and then the season, at the earliest possible opportunity.
I am proud to report that the adherence to this not only meant we had a significant season, but also that at no point has cricket, for that matter sport in general, been a driver for Covid-19.
Details of the season I leave to our very competent league chairman to report on, but despite only half a season and three clubs deciding not to join any competitions in 2020, we still played 70 competitive senior cricket matches and had a full youth cricket season encompassing regular training & tournaments in all age groups.
We began the season with a resounding success with the introduction of the CS T10 at St Gallen. Our appreciation goes to all involved, especially those at the city of St Gallen that supported us and the event at Gründenmoos.
While the pandemic affected almost all the off-field promotional activities, including coaching & officials training and the entire international programme was cancelled, it is a reflection of the dedication of so many involved in cricket in this country that I have a report to write that involves so much cricket.
Through necessity, the pandemic inadvertently accelerated the introduction of the digital age to cricket. It has never been easier to organise executive meetings, travel expenses have been drastically reduced and Basel Dragons introduced their Online Academy. Even the Swiss Olympic Sports parliament moved online.
Unfortunately the momentum built up over the last 6 years in the women’s side of the game has taken a major set-back. Something we will need to address in 2021.
The single most significant development in 2020 was without a doubt our decision to go it alone and apply directly to the ICC for membership.
Our formal application for Switzerland to become an Associate Member of the ICC has been submitted and we are cautiously optimistic about the outcome, which will be decided on in mid-2021.
The website & our social media strategy ensured that our message continues to be shared to 1’000s every month.
I thank all of the members of the Executive and indeed all individuals that have contributed directly or indirectly to the challenging, but successful season.
The difficulties have uncovered some cracks in the Swiss game and our organization, but with steps in hand to correct those, for instance an overhaul of the Disciplinary Committee and the
introduction of a Disciplinary Commission, together with the dedication of so many involved in the game, I am confident that cricket will emerge bigger & stronger in 2021.