Over the February half-term, a senior squad of 14 pupils embarked on a fantastic cricket tour to Cape Town to play a tough set of fixtures against powerful South African opposition.
On arrival, the squad ventured north to the Aquila Game Reserve, where they were delighted to see four of the ‘Big Five’ in the wild, along with plenty of other exciting African wildlife. After two game drives, the pupils returned to Cape Town via Boland Park in Paarl, where they watched the England Women’s national cricket team beat the West Indies team in the World Cup T20.
The squad then took on six matches against local opposition in five days. The gruelling schedule has helped to prepare the squad well for the upcoming season and has given new focus to the players for the final few weeks of the off-season.
There were many cricketing highlights during the trip, including a memorable win against Somerset College, a sparkling 85 for Ben against SACS in front of the South African National coach, Charlie scoring 65 not out on his senior debut, Harry scoring back-to-back 50s against Wynberg and Somerset College, and Johnny taking wickets regularly and troubling even the best local batsmen. The players also enjoyed close matches with Rondebosch and Bishops (under lights).
The pupils had the opportunity to learn about the political history and current socio-economic climate of Cape Town, thanks to their knowledgeable guide, and also visited the Cape Flats, the Cape of Good Hope, and the iconic Table Mountain. The trip concluded with a visit to a local batmaker and another World Cup T20 match under lights at the fabulous Newlands Cricket Ground.
It was a terrific tour and has set the squad up well for the summer season.
“Our Cape Town tour was filled with fun both on and off the field. From the vast countryside to the busy urban centre and the top of table mountain, the area is amazing. It was an incredible opportunity to bond with my teammates as well as the teachers. Our tour guide, Andre, was kind and welcoming and helped make the tour unforgettable. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to play at some of the most breathtaking cricket grounds, along with playing against some of the best teams in the country. I was struck by the high standards that our opposition set, it is no surprise that they are the best. I realised what it takes to be the best and I wish to transfer these values into my own game in order to bring the best out of myself and the team. I am extremely grateful to the people who made this tour possible and the memories will stick with me for the rest of my life.“ – Charlie, Fifths
“We had an amazing time in South Africa. Making memories that will last a life time and along the way got to play some of South Africa’s best cricketing schools. The tour has allowed us to get a bit of a head start with our cricket and hopefully sets us in good stead for the upcoming season.” – Ben, Upper Sixth