SOUTH Dartmoor Community College are celebrating the creation of their new cricket academy on Friday when it plays a showcase game against the MCC at Bovey Tracey.

Sport is a serious business at the Ashburton school, where golf, hockey and football already have academy set-ups.

Last year’s success across the board on the cricket field – the college won county and national titles through the age groups in boys’ and girls’ competitions – was the push needed to start a cricket academy.

Officially the cricket academy doesn’t start until the autumn term, but students and coaches are using what is left of the summer to get some game time in as a team.

“Our first game was against a Principal’as XI, which we won by 14 runs,” said director of sport Steve Dinnie.

“We have a lot of talented young players but they aren’t used to playing together that much.

“The team to play the MCC is made up mainly of year 11 students with a couple of sixth formers.

“We have been sent the MCC team in advance and it looks a strong one, which will be a real test for our students.”

MCC – the oldest name in cricket – sends out representative sides most days of the week to promote the game in schools and colleges.

Players have to have a good track record to become members and the MCC side playing South Dartmoor includes former Devon players Andy Hele and Peter Lucketti, plus Barton’s former Combined Services all-rounder Shaun Needham.

The MCC’s team manager is Pete Sanderson, a professional cricket coach attached to the staff at Somerset who will be part of the academy set-up in the autumn.

The game – an old fashioned declaration match - starts at 11.30am with 20 overs in the last hour from 5.30pm.