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Rising Stars: Duncan Moore reflects on his South Africa cricket exchange

Posted: 10th July 2023

I left the college on January 18th in order to play cricket for St. Benedict’s College, experience South African culture, and see what it’s like to go to school there. Fresh off a 12-hour flight, I started working as soon as I arrived. I played the first game against a school named Duduza, which we easily defeated.

While I was there I learnt about there culture and the brotherhood that they possess. For example, they would perform war cries which they would demonstrate at sports fixtures. This showed the brotherly connection between every student. To me this was a very enlightening experience.  I also stayed with an Afrikaans family (Clayton Horlick). Clayton went to the school and also has come over to the UK to represent our 1st XI. He has definitely made a mark on what a young talent he is. I experienced their signature dishes and how they went about life. However, I also experienced the down sides, which included having to get up at 5:00 AM every morning as school there starts at 7:00 AM. This was very tough.  The family were amazing, they took me out for dinner at different places and to a SA T20 game, where I saw Hendrich Klassen hit an amazing 100. It was overall a goodnight.     

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While I was there some of the schools were very scenic. One of the best schools I visited was called St Johns, which had one of the best backdrops to a rugby field  I have ever seen. Its harry potter like architecture and the history it holds within its stands was very impressive.

Over the course of the weeks I played 15 games for the school, but there were 2 games that really stood out to me which I am most proud of. The first game was the T20 semi final. The team got off to a really bad start with the score being 11-4 when I went in at number 6 and I just said to my self “ we are walking off this pitch with 130+ on the board and I’m going to make sure we get to the final”. So me and the other batsmen went and put on a 130 partnership to get us to 142-4. Myself scoring 65* and my partner 51*. I feel like this was the game I proved myself to not just to my teammates or the coaches but to myself. We then bowled them out and the Bennies 1st XI were off to the final which I sadly couldn’t play due to flying back home.

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We then set off to St Albans college for the cricket festival which we played 4 days in a row. Our second game was at one of the best universities in area against a school from Zimbabwe. I went into the game with a groin injury but decided to play as it was my 10th cap for the team, which meant I was presented the all important 1st team cap. I was presented cap 111 (triple nelson) with a pleasant speech from the head coach. I then went on to score 51* on one of the slowest outfields I have ever played on so boundaries were hard to come by which meant a lot of running. We ended up winning the game very convincingly.

I ended my time in south Africa with a side strain but that didn’t take away the amazing experience I had. As I left the field for the final time I got an emotional round of applause from the team and the parents as I made my last appearance for the school.

Overall it was an experience of a life time and I learnt a lot about myself and I feel I have grown from this amazing opportunity I received, which I’m very grateful to have had. I think in future years many pupils will make as many memories and grow as people, just like I did.

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Categories: Senior Sport

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