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South Africa Review

So the real cricket’s over and what a series it was! Plenty of Addis made it out to watch a Test or two and the cricket was certainly entertaining. I’m now looking back on my predictions and hopes from December to see how well they have aged.


So much for a draw or England win at Centurion, on a five day pitch! The frustrating thing for England in this game was how they just never properly got going. The players’ illness was much more apparent on TV than in the ground but our willingness to abandon our bowling plans was particularly familiar to watch. Joe Root’s ridiculous decision to bowl first with half the team suffering the sickness bug was a major error here and one that the rest of the series has fortunately meant will be seen as less of a howler that it otherwise might have been.


Still, watching from the beer-free family grass bank was a new one on me and most enjoyable: plenty of space, sun and shade as you liked and a view from right next to the sight screen. Excellent for observing the accuracy of Philander and Nortje! Boxing Day itself was roasting hot and very unpleasant out of the shade (which was really all created by the full-size gazebos brought in by the locals) but as in times past the guys at Centurion Rugby Club made us feel at home, even allocating Jos the president’s board room (and a/c) for his nap times. Thanks very much and see you again next time!


We did indeed have a full day to spare before we set off for Cape Town, so we drove up to the Cradle of Humankind archaeological site and then into Soweto. We were very much just on the fringes but it still felt very worthwhile and the museum in Nelson Mandela’s former family home was humbling to visit. We had also intended to visit the Johannesburg Museum of Apartheid but sadly it was closed on the day in question so instead we got back in time for a superb curry out, courtesy of Big Tim and Monique. Fantastic to see you both again and looking forward to the next time for you, too.


Walking into our rental home in Cape Town it was clear that we had ‘won’ Air BnB. The most fantastic, perfectly curated family home was spacious and welcoming, with jungle garden and sun-warmed outdoor pool. We had little need to eat out with the ability to braai most nights instead, but we did head to Addis in Cape for some delicious Ethiopian food. The plate is bread: Tractor’s carb heaven.


Pleased to report that England fared better in Cape Town that I had feared we might, although a 3-1 series victory was what I had hoped for before we left. I can confirm that a 6 hours overnight stop in Addis Ababa airport with a 14 month old was a challenge I would have preferred to do without, but the boy is now an official full member so all’s well that ends well.


No tours for the Tractors in 2020 so time to kick back and wait for the summer.


Tractor





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