Cricket goes global

18 May 2018

According to tour captain and Year 13 student Kurtis Weeks every aspect of the recent cricket tour to Singapore and the UK was fantastic. “The whole trip was a highlight. The cricket was pretty amazing, as were our days off exploring. You hear so much about London on the news and social media, to actually see it and experience London life was surreal.”

The touring squad, composed of the 1st XI and a development XI, left Christchurch on Saturday 7 April and returned on Tuesday 1 May.

First stop Singapore, where each team played two matches against Singapore Cricket Club, on the famed Padang in the heart of the city and at Dempsey field. Kurtis says they had to acclimatise pretty quickly in the intense heat, with plenty of water after every over helping them adapt to the different playing conditions.

Then it was on to England, with one of their first “fixtures” a training session at the Marylebone Cricket Club and a tour of Lord’s. “We were on a cricket tour, we couldn’t miss out on the home of cricket,” says Kurtis.

The squad were based largely in London, with day trips to Eton, Charterhouse, Cranleigh, Haberdashers and Winchester to play, punctuated by overnight stays in Oxford, for the match against St Edward’s, and Tunbridge Wells, where they played Wellington College and Tonbridge, before their final match at Cranbrook, where they were billeted in family homes. Unfortunately, the English weather did not always play ball and some matches had to be cancelled, others shortened.

The boys had plenty of opportunities to soak up the sights, taking part in an “Amazing Race” round central London, visiting the Natural History Museum and Madame Tussauds, seeing the musical Wicked, taking a tour of Wembley Stadium, and experiencing the thrill of English football at a Fulham vs Millwall match. They also visited the Gray-Nicolls factory to see how the world famous cricket bat is made and had a trip to the historic seaside town of Hastings.

Tour manager and Director of Sport Rob Clarke says the benefits of touring are huge in terms of both personal and player development. “The schools they’re playing on this tour are among the top cricketing schools in England. Our boys are playing against the unknown, different players in different environments, and they all rise to the challenge. Plus, they learn a lot about independence, about taking responsibility for themselves, learning how to navigate London and look out for each other. On and off the field they did really well. They did lots, saw lots and definitely made the most of their time away.”

For full match reports, go to the Christ’s College Cricket Facebook page. Search for @christscollegecricket on Facebook or in Messenger.