Skukuza Cricket Pitch Hosts International Match




For the fifth year running, boys from Devon toured South Africa to meet their cricket counterparts on the fields of Cape Town and Skukuza in the Kruger National Park. The boys, all younger than 16, their management team, and some of their parents, left Heathrow on February 10 and played their first match in Cape Town on Monday February 13. During their week-long stay in Cape Town they played six games, including a clash with the Western Province side on Newlands, which the Devon team won.

The group arrived at Kruger on Wednesday February 22. They played a Mpumalanga invitational team on Friday at Skukuza. "We beat the Western Province side,"' said Alan Swift, team manager, "but here we have been beaten by a better side." The Devon team could only score 113 runs in their innings and they lost all their wickets.

The Mpumalanga team made 114 in the 35th over with Louis Crouwcamp scoring 63 runs. He was also man of the match. The three spin bowlers, Dean Botha (two for 20), Ryno Kruger (two for 13) and Jean Rossouw (2 for 25) performed best for the Mpumalanga team.

 Jeanre Olivier scored 37 runs, not out. "These boys are playing really well," he said of the Mpumalanga team as both teams were putting on a brave display in the scorching heat at the Skukuza sports ground. While watching the game, one of the Devon parents remarked he had just been in contact with someone ‘at home in England' who told him it was –6 degrees Fahrenheit with overnight snow there.

Despite the heat, Alan said the Devon boys were enjoying themselves tremendously. Four of the boys had been on the tour before. The group also included four players who will represent West of England in the West Indies later this year.

"People like Frik Rossouw and Jannie Geldenhuys are absolutely astounding, doing far more than expected to make the tour possible," said Alan of the Kruger co-organisers as he discussed the arrangements and logistics of the tour. The group stays at the Protea Hotel for the duration of their Kruger tour. Apart from the morning and afternoon drives in the Park, "we had a wonderful ‘potjie' prepared by Jannie," said Alan.

He says the hospitality they have experienced and friendships they formed have been great and the tour is "about far more than only cricket. It teaches the young people about themselves and enriches their lives in total." In trying to reciprocate what they experience here, the Devon Cricket Club facilitates opportunities for young cricket players from Mpumalanga in England. Frik Rossouw believes the tour was a great success and would like to thank Vuswa, one of the main sponsors of the Kruger leg of the tour.

He says the hospitality they have experienced and friendships they formed have been great and the tour is "about far more than only cricket. It teaches the young people about themselves and enriches their lives in total." In trying to reciprocate what they experience here, the Devon Cricket Club facilitates opportunities for young cricket players from Mpumalanga in England. Frik Rossouw believes the tour was a great success and would like to thank Vuswa, one of the main sponsors of the Kruger leg of the tour.



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