Preview by Joint Tour Manager, Matt Cooke.

The Under 15 Boys Tour to South Africa embarks on its 22nd voyage to the southern hemisphere in the second half of October this year.

More than 300 previous tourists have embarked on the unique touring experience that Kruger National Park offers and the highly challenging cricket environment of Cape Town. A further 14 players will get the opportunity to follow in their footsteps later this year. The previous tourists' hall of fame boasts a plethora of personnel who have gone from Devon to further honours in First Class and International cricket.  

The tour has always acted as a complimentary part of the County Age Group programme, rather than the pinnacle of it. It was originally designed to take young cricketers out of their comfort zone, stretch them, show them other cricketing experiences and to come back as better-rounded young men on and off the field. This goal has not altered over the past 21 trips and will always be the tour's mantra and reason for travelling 6,000 miles.

Despite the reasoning not changing for touring, the finances of the trip have, with costs never being higher per travelling squad member. Each tour party member being tasked with finding in excess of £3,000 to cover the 18-day trip is no small ask. Players and parents are given the opportunity to offer commercial sponsorships to place adverts in a tour brochure that acts as a memento of the trip and as a tool for sponsorship exposure. A print count of 1,000 units goes out across the Devon club network and an electronic version is available constantly on the Devon Cricket Foundation website.

The founding father of the tour, Alan Swift, always ensured that finance would never be a barrier for any player travelling to South Africa. This principle has always been and always will be upheld. However, doing so comes at a cost. All year round we need to raise finances through private donations, charity support in the form of The David Shepherd Cricket Trust and commercial sponsors to make the trip viable, and offer funding support where needed to any member of the tour party.

We are actively seeking further commercial sponsors for the 2024 Tour. Sponsorships are available from £250 adverts in the Tour Brochure to wider sponsorship including premium page adverts in the brochure, combined with logos on shirts and digital recognitions. If you are interested in sponsoring the tour, please contact Matt Cooke.

If you’d like to support the boys with a personal donation, there is a Just Giving page where this can be made. Any donation however big or small is gratefully received.

Ben Green coached on the 2022 tour.

One alumn of the 2013 and 2014 tours, Ben Green, who has gone on to forge a successful First Class career, will be returning for some CPD during his off-season, acting as a coach on the trip for a second time. Once again, this demonstrates the benefits of the trip for the boys, spending 17 days in the company of a current professional cricketer. 

The 2024 tour party consists of the below boys, who will be participating this summer as the county's Under 15 Boys team. Follow their progress ahead of the trip from this summer's games on Play-Cricket.

Arya Dua (Plymouth CC), Jake Dunn (Ivybridge CC), Artie Evans (Heathcoat CC), Sam Ford (Cornwood CC), Ben Handley (Sandford CC), Jacob Hardy (Exeter CC), Ollie Knight (Sandford CC), Ben Major (Ottery St Mary CC), Marcus Neary (Exeter CC), Josh Paget (Exeter CC), Josh Stewart (Bradninch & Kentisbeare CC), Callum Williams (Plympton CC), Gethin Williams (Bovey Tracey CC) and Harry Witcher (Plymouth CC).