Cricketing greats, great cricket fans raised £500,000 with a record breaking Mt Kilimanjaro game – see http://www.mtkilimadness.com/
“As I passed 40 it dawned on me the only way I was ever going to play cricket at the highest level was if I took a game to the top of a mountain,” says David Harper, organiser of this September’s world record attempt on the highest game of cricket ever played – at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro.
At 5,785m this will be over 600m higher than the current world record set in 2009. Two teams will be raising money for Cancer Research UK, Tusk and the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, with a target of £500,000.
David will be joined by fellow amateur cricketers, as well as cricketing greats including Ashley “King of Spain” Giles MBE – member of the legendary 2005 Ashes-winning England squad – and Clare Connor OBE – former England cricket captain, now head of England women’s cricket.
Clare said: “We all need a focus in our lives, even more so when we are trying to cope with personal tragedy. Cancer devastated my family earlier this year so this is my focus for 2014. Cricket has already given me some of my most memorable moments, the highlight being regaining the Ashes in 2005, and I know that this will be up there with the very best of them. I love Africa, I love cricket, I love a challenge and I am so pleased to be able to combine everything that this trip has to offer in order to raise valuable funds for Cancer Research UK.”
David added: “Playing at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro will bring a world record to Africa, raise significant sponsorship for three very worthwhile charities, and help raise awareness of the harm that poaching is doing to wildlife across the continent…as well as allowing me to indulge my fantasy of playing against some high quality international cricketers.”
Richard Beghin, managing director, Flicx UK, which is providing the portable cricket pitch for the event, said: “I started Flicx at the back end of Apartheid – so as to assist in creating a level playing field for young white and black cricketers – where they could play a game of cricket without prejudice, racial barriers – but more importantly on skill and the passion to win. “That was in 1998. Today we are very pleased to be involved with developing youngsters in Africa, but also more importantly raising money for three great causes.”
To qualify for World Record status, the two teams must play a game of T20 overseen by qualified ECB umpires. Both teams will have to do so after a challenging seven-day climb, risking altitude sickness – a feat which 30% of climbers fail.
All donations will go directly to the charities and all costs associated with this event will be met by the players themselves or by corporate sponsors. The team are still searching for sponsors in addition to those who have been generous enough to sign up. This will be the charity event of the cricketing year and with it being ground-breaking will raise the attention of media and the public alike.
Lisa Aubrey, senior management team, Cancer Research UK, said: “I am delighted that Mt Kili Madness have chosen to support the life-saving work of Cancer Research UK. Participants will be putting themselves through a tough challenge and all their bravery, grit and determination will be help us to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress and see three quarters of people surviving the disease within the next 20 years and the support of Mt Kili Madness is helping us to make this a reality.”
Charlie Mayhew MBE, CEO, Tusk, said: “Mt Kili Madness will be a record breaking fundraising event and Tusk is enormously proud to be a beneficiary. We have great admiration for the 22 players that will be trekking to the crater on Mount Kilimanjaro to play cricket at an awe-inspiring altitude of 5,785m. The charity is incredibly thankful for the team’s determination and dedication to raise awareness and much needed funds for the poaching crisis currently engulfing Africa.”
Alan Curr, holder of the current world record game – at Everest base camp – author of Cricket on Everest, and head of junior cricket in Japan, said: “Well there goes my best conversation starter…I guess I will gave to look for a new mountain to play on! But seriously if I am going to lose the world record then at least the fantastic causes that Mt Kili Madness are supporting will benefit.” More people have been into space, or sailed single-handedly around the world without stopping than have managed to play a competitive game of cricket above 5,100m