The players head for lunch at the Vineyard Oval, Cape Town.

Somerset CC's White-Ball Player of the Year Ben Green will be joining up with Devon Cricket U15s as they head out on their South Africa tour this week. Find out more about the tour by reading this year's brochure.

This year's tour also marks the 20th anniversary since founder, Alan Swift, first set up the tour to South Africa in 2002. "The principal reason for travelling 6,000 miles is to provide the players with an opportunity to widen their cricket experience through playing against capable and competitive opponents in unfamiliar conditions," Alan wrote in his message to this year's players.

Matt Theedom.Devon Cricket Managing Director, Matt Theedom, paid tribute to Alan's contribution to the tour, saying that "not only did Alan create the tour over 20 years ago, but he then ran it every year for 15 years as a volunteer, a quite extraordinary contribution to the development of young cricketers."

This year's tour, the first since 2020, will be the first tour managed by Matt and Matt Cooke. "Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted all our lives for over 18 months. Cricket at all levels was a casualty of the pandemic and we were unable to take a tour party in 2021."

But why tour South Africa?

"The answer is easy", says joint tour manager Matt Cooke. "It's a country with amazing scenery, incredible wildlife, a world-famous culture, and an infectious passion for sport. As a nation, South Africans are fiercely competitive and this provides our Tour Party with a challenge they may not find elsewhere."

The team on tour in 2003.

This year's trip will feature six matches played over the course of eight days, with the U15s facing Nelspruit Hoërskool, the Johan Rudolph Academy, Western Province Development XI, Regional Performance XI, Western Province U16s XI and an Invitational XI.

The most anticipated of these is the match against Nelspruit Hoërskool. Known as the 'Battle of Kruger', the match is held at Skukuza Cricket Club, a lovely ground uniquely situated within the Kruger National Park, the largest of South Africa's 20 National Parks.

Ahead of the tour Frik Rossouw, Senior Investigator with the South Africa National Parks Special Projects and known as 'Mr Cricket' at Skukuza CC, said: "we at Kruger are looking forward to welcoming back our friends from Devon and getting to know the new management team and players. At last the time has arrived to revive the Battle for Kruger."

The team in 2018 with the Battle of Kruger Trophy.Reflecting on his time on the tour, Ben Green told Somerset CC: "I've such fond memories of this trip from when I was a youngster. I'm interested to see how much it's changed and I'm looking forward to doing some coaching and helping them out.

"This has come off the back of working with the EPP and with the age groups in Devon. It's going to be a great opportunity to further my coaching."

Ben Green on the South Africa tour.A number of players that have featured on the tour have since gone on to play at First-Class or International Level. These are:

- Tom Allin (2003)

- Adam Dibble (2005 & 2006)

- James Burke (2005 & 2006)

- Lewis Gregory (2006 & 2007)

- Craig Overton (2009)

- Jamie Overton (2009)

- Dom Bess (2011 & 2012)

- Ben Green (2012 & 2013)

- Tom Lammonby (2015)

- Sonny Baker (2018)

This year's tour begins on Sunday 23rd October, with the team setting off on Thursday 20th; and finishes on Friday 4th November. Keep up to date with the latest from the tour on Facebook, Instagram and Play Cricket.