After three successive trips to the United Arab Emirates, the playing staff and coaches will fly to Potchefstroom, South Africa on March 7 for a 13-day stay at the NWU PUK Sports Village. The White Rose will play 2 x two-day and 2 x 50-over matches as they continue their preparations for 2018. At this stage the Club have confirmed a two-day match and a 50-over fixture against Nottinghamshire.
The squad are due to arrive back in the UK 17 days prior to the fixture against Leeds Bradford MCCU, which gets underway on Saturday April 7. The Club’s Specsavers County Championship season opener against Essex is scheduled to take place on Friday April 13, 1100 start.
“We’ve obviously been to the UAE for the last few years, so I think generally we wanted a change of scenery,” said Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon. “The facilities over there are first class and, having had an Academy side tour Potchefstroom in the past, we are well aware of what the site has to offer. From a cricketing and financial point of view it fits quite nicely. A change of venue, good facilities and we’ll be well looked after. It’s a great opportunity for the team to come together and I’m sure it will be a really good trip.
“Notts are there, virtually at the same time as us, and we hope to play at least a two-day game and a 50-over game against them. We’re just finalising our opposition for the other two-day and 50-over matches, which could possibly be against local opposition.”
Located on the Fanie du Toit Sportsgrounds, with cricket, rugby, athletics, netball, tennis and soccer being in a 100m radius, the NWU PUK Sports Village is a one-stop facility with a world class High Performance Centre. The complex, which has just successfully hosted a Tri-Series involving the England cricket U19s, also welcomed the FIFA World Cup Winners 2010, Spain, for their pre-tournament training camp.
The White Rose will be hoping a successful tour, comprised of six days cricket and six days warm weather training, will kick-start their aspirations of lifting silverware again this summer.
"We’ve got a nice balance with three days practice at the start of the trip to get the lads into the swing of things,” Moxon continued. “It’s a long winter indoors and after a certain period of time it gets a bit samey. The work you can do indoors is limited so it will be great to get outdoors, onto grass and put the game plans into practice in match situations.
“The start of the season has been put back, so that enables us to play a few practice games here prior to the Leeds Bradford MCCU game. So come the Essex game on April 13 we should be really well prepared!”