Exeter Duo off to South Africa!by Richard Nelsey
Exeter Cricket Club are very proud that two of their younger players, Marcus Hoddinott and Ben Green, have been selected to represent Devon on the 2012 U15 Tour to South Africa this coming February.
Marcus, who is Captain of the Devon U15’s, is returning for a second Devon Tour to SA, having been part of the squad that visited the country this time last year, playing an age group higher. A batsman, who can bowl occasional off spin, he has been a solid performer for Devon through the age groups with a best of 103* vs Cornwall. He has also been a part of the Exeter 2nd XI team for the past two seasons in the 2nd XI Premier and despite his age, already averages just under 30 and looks at ease when batting.
“I’m really happy to have the chance to go back this year and lead the team on this Tour. The cricket we are going to play is going to be a real challenge as I remember that the teams has a lot of good players last year, but I think we have a strong team so we should have some competitive games. I remember one game, which was going down to the wire, and the temperature being about 40 degrees ... definitely not something I’ve experienced playing for Devon or Exeter!
“The other part of the Tour that I am looking forward to, apart from a bit of sunshine and warmth, is visiting the Kruger. It was a surreal experience to be sat eating dinner and know that there were Hyena’s wandering around in the bush not a million miles away.”
Ben is joining the Tour, as Marcus did last year, playing in an age group one year ahead. A genuine all rounder, Ben has already made a lasting impression on both those involved with Devon and Exeter. If you remember that he is just 14, he claimed 4 for 21 for Devon in the National U15 Semi Final and made 40* vs Gloucestershire. He also made his debut for Exeter 3rd XI in 2011 cracking a brilliant 109 and then a few weeks later stepped up to the 2nd XI and claimed 1-41 (from 10).
“I found out in October, just the day before the first Tour meeting, that I was going be part of the squad and I was so excited to be given such an amazing opportunity. I’m playing in an older age group and though there are a few nerves I’ve played with this age group previously and have done made a few runs and taken a few wickets. Also playing a few more adult games last season at Exeter has helped prepare me too for playing with older players.
“I know that we will be playing against some good opposition out in South Africa but I’m really looking forward to all of the cricket out there, from playing abroad to the banter with my teammates. I just hope I get a chance to have a bat as we have a very strong batting line up!! I also can’t wait to escape the UK climate for a couple of weeks and I’ve heard that the South African diet is rather carnivorous!!
We will hopefully be getting a few updates whilst they are in South Africa and will be catching up with them both when they get back. Everyone at Exeter CC wish them the best of luck!