A Bit Of History
Basel Cricket Club had its beginnings on the notice board of the Carnival Squash Club in Allschwil in 1978. Anyone interested in playing cricket was invited to put his or her name down on the list. Thirty people did in fact put their names down declaring their interest.
The person responsible for trying to get up a cricket team in Basel was a Scotsman called Ian Bigland who was a translator at Geigy AG in Basel. Ian had played cricket in his younger days for Scotland and was an excellent squash player eventually becoming Chairman of the Swiss Squash Association.
Ian paid for a coconut mat, and all the equipment a cricket club needed and it was agreed that the club would reimburse Ian over the next few years as the club’s finances improved. (This was to take a long time!)
Our first match was against Bern Cricket Club on the 10th of June 1978 played on Bern’s ground at Marzilimoos. That was the first match of many subsequent matches that Basel played against Bern who became our archrivals. Needless to say we lost. Bern batted first and scored 105 all out. Basel were bowled out for 86 (for 13 wickets). We had too many players but all were allowed to play!
Our second match was against Geneva Cricket Club arguably the strongest side in Switzerland. There were only four clubs then. Bern, Basel, Geneva and Zurich Cricket Clubs. Against Geneva we were thrashed. Geneva scored 143 all out and Basel were bowled out for just 30 runs.
We only played three games in 1978 and lost all of them, and again in 1979 we played three matches and lost all of them again. But in 1979 Bob Schlumpf joined the club. He was a great cricketer and organiser. Always motivated and hard working he helped to build the Basel Cricket Club into one of the best teams in Switzerland in the 80’s. Ravi joined the club in 1980, as did Assad Sadiq another wonderful cricketer. The number of clubs in Switzerland was now increasing. We played against CERN Cricket Club and also we had a match against the school team from the Lyceum Alpinum School in Zuoz.
On June 27th 1981, we had our first victory against Bern beating them by 7 wickets. A historic day for the club.
In 1982 Benji Roberts joined the club. Benji is from Dominica and played exciting cricket and he helped us to many great scores. 1982 saw the formation of the Zurich Sri Lankans with whom we had many great games.
1985 saw the influx of a number of very good players into the club. Jamil Chaudry and Philip Rae were extremely good players; Jamil probably was the best player in the country at that time. We played 17 matches in the season and won the Brennan Challenge Cup for the first time beating Geneva in the final in Bern by three wickets. A wonderful result and a wonderful season. The Brennan Challenge Cup was donated by the then Australian Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Brennan to be competed for in a knock out competition.
Basel Cricket Club won the Brennan Cup three times and on the way to these successes no game could have been more exciting than our semi-final against Bern which we won with the last ball of the match! We were also runners up twice. Jack Aston who was our President for many years and prolific opening batsman left to go to Nairobi, Assad went back to Pakistan.
Till year 2000 Peter Nixon was President Basel CC. After him Jacques Bischoff was president but only for a short while. In 2002 Ravindeeran was elected President as also Jay Singh Captain. This team continued till 2009 when due to the sad demise of Ravi, Jay Singh took over as President.
In 2004 Jay Singh started the first Junior Cricket initiative in Switzerland. The junior team started with 5 Juniors around the age group of 6 to 10. The Junior group played in Munchenstein Gymnasium grounds. Soon this group grew into a large group and by 2012 we were having around 40 children. We also had 2 Level 2 Coaches and 6 level 1 Coaches. In the same year Basel cricket club started indoor hall cricket. A hall was hired in Freis Gymnasium where the senior and Junior wings did hall training during winters.
In 2007 two Basel junior Cricketers, John Gallon (17) and Richard Marsden (17) accompanied by coach and country Leader J.Singh attended the La Manga Centre of Excellence program from 15th to 19th Apr. where 23 other players from 12 countries were in attendance.
The program was run by a high profile group of 5 coaches which included the Scotland Captain in the world Cup, Craig Wright. Philip Hudson was the overall coordinator..
Basel had regularly sent its members to attend courses.
J.Singh had already completed the Level 1 umpires course and then attended the Overseas umpires Course in Zurich.
In 2009 J.Singh was selected to undergo Tutors Umpiring Course at Lords England. This was a one week course and Jay was the only umpire who achieved this distinction from Switzerland. This course was followed up by a participation in Level 1 umpiring course in Belgium in 2011 as part of the tutor Team.
J.Singh conducted several Introduction to Umpiring courses at Geneva, Basel and Zurich centres. Several Swiss potential umpires attended these coaches and were then cleared to represent their clubs for umpiring League and cup Matches.
Basel has a fair share of coaches. We have 2 ECB Level 2 coaches. J.Singh and Gareth Jones. Both these coaches had been training the Senior and Junior players.
Basel also had 6 level 1 coaches who were mainly motivated parents of the juniors and these coaches helped in running the Junior Wing of the club.
In 2009 Julian Wessel was recommended and selected to participate in European Emerging Players program at La Manga Spain. Julian completed this course with distinction and later was an important member of the Swiss National team participating in ICC tournament at Cyprus.
Currently Basel has 3 Level 2 coaches, one Tutor Umpire and 3 Level 1 umpires. Apart from this we have 4 recognised umpires.
Officials in SCA.
Basel has always contributed to the organisation of Swiss Cricket. Noteworthy are some of the following:
Peter Nixon. President SCA
Jacques Bischoff. International Match Manager SCA
Jay Singh. League Chairman.SCA
Jay Singh. President S Focus( umpiring organisation)
Jay Singh. Coach Swiss National Team.
Nikhil Gokhaley. Treasurer SCA
Jason Ransome. League Chairman SCA
The club did not have a permanent home ground was playing in various grounds, the last being Munchenstein Gymnasium where we trained and played our Matches. In 2000 we got access to Bachgraben grounds but only for matches. Meanwhile after relentless efforts by Jay Singh the Sportsamt Basel agreed for us to lay a permanent Notts wicket at Bachgraben. This was done in July 2009 and the SCA supported in the form of ICC help. Basel CC paid itself for the installation and finally the best ground in Switzerland was in place. Immediately the trials and selections for the first official, ICC registered Swiss National Team took place at Basel. Jay Singh was appointed the National Coach of this team which participated in ICC tournament in Cypus. Julian Wessel of Basel CC was an important Basel CC member who was part of the National team which played the ICC tournament in Cyprus.
At the same time, keeping in accordance with ICC criteria requirements a Women team also was formed in Basel in 2009. This team played an inaugural match at Basel in July 2009 and included Ms Perera, a recent member of Sri Lanka cricket women’s Test team.
In 2015 The Bachgraben Grounds were sanitised as a result of which our Notts wicket was removed. Year 2015 saw Basel CC playing in Bachgraben on a modified wicket with a wooden base kindly manufactured by our member Julian Wessel. Highlights included visit by the Wanderers, a team from England who happily played on this improvised wicket.
In 2016 April a new Notts wicket was installed by sportsamt Basel as a replacement of our earlier wicket. At the same time our ‘Container’ which functions as a Club house, was replaced with a new one bought from FC Concordia. Similarly a net cage for training purposes was installed at Bachgraben. This was bought by Basel CC and currently all Juniors and Seniors avail of this training facility.
In 2015 we got allocation of Sportamt Basel Hall which was in Wasgenring and there we regularly train.
In 2015 we started a Badminton Wing. A hall was allotted by Sportsamt in Pfaffenholz where the club has Badminton all round the year. The current Badminton wing has 14 Members. There is a total capacity of 18 dictated by the availability of 4 courts in the hall. Badminton wing has Gents, ladies and few Junior Boys and girls.