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The 1st XI Cricket Squad returned to England for the first time since COVID-19, and the tour was a great success. Over 23 days, the team played 14 matches, winning five with one wash-out. On-field highlights included playing matches at prestigious schools, a match against the MCC, and concluding the tour with a fixture on the amazing Arundel Castle Cricket Ground. 

 The schedule was packed full of cricket, with six days in a row scheduled at the start of the tour so that we could play against as many schools as possible before they went on their summer break. This tested our team physically and mentally and resulted in our players learning a great deal about themselves as cricketers, team mates and individuals. 

 One of the major highlights for the students off the field was being hosted by families at Felsted School, where our players made new friends and got a different taste of life in the UK. Each tour, this is one of the most enjoyable parts for the team, and this year was no exception. 

 Another highlight off the field was watching Day 4 of the men’s Ashes test match at Lord’s. Ten of our students attained associate memberships to the MCC through reciprocal rights their SACA memberships provided. This gave us full access to the members pavilion at Lord’s, where our students enjoyed viewing some of the match from the Long Room. A number of us returned for the fifth day, when Alex Carey controversially stumped Jonny Bairstow. A couple of our players were in the Long Room when some of the infamous events of the day took place! A truly memorable experience. 

 Mr Nicholas Smith was our tour guide and he ensured there was plenty of learning off the field about the history of the various places we visited. One of the interesting highlights was a visit to Westminster Abbey, where students observed the record of Bishop Augustus Short’s consecration as Bishop of Adelaide in 1847. 

 Successful tours require all tour members to have a team-first mentality. Students, their families and our School can be proud of all touring members for the way that they represented the School with pride. Throughout the tour, especially when the students were in uniform, we received plenty of praise for the respect our students demonstrated.  

 A common message our students hear is that school should not be the greatest moment of their life. If it is, we have not done our job properly as educators. This being said, for many of our students, the friendships, learning and enjoyment this tour provides may result in this tour being the cricketing highlight of their lifetime. 

 These tours don’t just happen – there are a number of people to thank for their efforts: 

Leigh Clarke – risk management
Communications team – Lucy Johnson, Lyndsee Wyatt, Astrid Innes
Finance team – Nicole Victory, Liana Calabro, Kimberly Devlin
David Docwra – compiling historical documents
Mike Oliver, psychologist
Stacey Nattrass – tour merchandise
Rob Lane – photos
Senior Leadership for direction and support
Staff attendees – Nicholas Smith, Ciaran Geraghty, Henry Cameron 

Tour summary:
22 nights
14 matches
5 wins
1 washout 

Schools visited:
Bradfield College
Wellington College
King’s School, Worcester
King Edward’s School, Birmingham
Felsted School 

Other matches:
East Molesey CC
Catford & Cyphers
Sussex Martlets
Scotch College, Melbourne
Newington College, Sydney
Melbourne Grammar School 

Top three tun scorers:
James Hattingh 427
Noah Latimer 325
Felix Polasek 288 

Top three wicket takers:
Tom Hodgkison 16
Haydn Kamencak 13
Adam Freeman 13 

Individual on-field highlights:
Tom Hodgkison’s 6/41 (including a hat-trick) vs Bradfield College
Haydn Kamencak’s 5/20 vs Newington College
Captain James Hattingh’s 100 not out off 51 balls in his final match for St Peter’s College 

Other highlights included:
Lord’s – men’s Ashes test match and women’s Ashes T20
Tower of London
Brick Lane
Jack the Ripper tour
St Paul’s Cathedral
Great Clock of Westminster/Big Ben
Buckingham Palace
Westminster Abbey
London Dungeon