Rob Jones, from Stockton Heath, captained England’s Development Programme U17s during the successful series of matches, leading the team to four wins out of six matches.
However, there was just as much success off the pitch as he delivered supplies – paid for by funds raised by his classmates at Priestley College – to some of Africa’s poorest children.
“What I Iearned was to never take anything for granted and what a fortunate position I am in,” said Rob, 17.
“We met children who had to walk a couple of miles to school every day, but all of them seemed so happy and had big smiles on their faces when we turned up.”
Part of the England players’ job while in South Africa was to meet local children and organise some fun events.
It was an eye-opener for Rob, formerly of Bridgewater High School, who was amazed to see the children take a nap during the day – on the bare stone of the schoolroom floor.
“They are only 10 hours away on a plane, but their lives are completely different to ours,” he said. “When they saw us they wanted our autographs because they thought we were famous, but I am just a normal kid who is at college.”
Despite the differences between the cricketers and the African children one thing they all knew how to do was enjoy themselves.
They played football, had fun on a waterslide and bouncy castle and at the end of their time together the cricketers presented the children with goody bags full of gifts, food and colouring books.
“They asked when we were coming back and that was quite sad for me,” said Rob. “Hopefully we gave them a day to remember because it was certainly an experience I will never forget.”