Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
A group of cricketers, including former England spinner Ashley Giles, England women’s vice-captain Heather Knight and ex-South Africa pace bowler Makhaya Nitini have set a new world record for the highest-ever cricket match by playing near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
After an eight-day trek to reach the summit, which is also known as the “roof of Africa”, the cricketers played 10 overs each of a Twenty20 match before clouds stopped play.
The match was played at a height of 5,730 metres (18,799 ft) in a crater just below the dormant volcano’s summit, which is 5,895 metres (19,340 ft) high.
This easily beat the previous world record of 5,165 metres (16,945 ft), which was set in 2009 when a group of cricketers played a match in the Himalayas at the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal in 2009.
The Gorillas team, which was led by Knight, triumphed over the Rhinos team, which was captained by Giles, as they scored 82/5 off their 10 overs, while Giles’ team only made 64/9.
During the match, Giles tweeted: “This is absolutely incredible! We are playing cricket on the summit of Africa!”
Speaking about the match, Knight told AFP: “It was tough running between the wickets but it was easy bowling Ashley Giles out! Fully worth coming all this way, with such an amazing feeling getting to the top, and – I hope – breaking a world record!”
All the cricketers who took part in the match ran the risk of getting acute mountain sickness and potentially deadly pulmonary or cerebral oedema, which is the flooding of the lungs or brain.
Mukuru Mugapablo, a Tanzanian mountain guide who watched the match, stated that he had never witnessed anything like this in his entire life.
“I’ve seen football played on strange pitches, but nothing, nothing beats this game for madness,” he told AFP. “Altitude up here is a serious issue, people really do get sick…this is a crazy thing to have witnessed on top of Kilimanjaro.”
It has been announced that all the funds the players raised will go to numerous charities, including Cancer Research and Tusk Trust, which helps stop the poaching of elephants and other wild animals.
In addition to that, some of the money will go towards building Rwanda’s first international cricket pitch.