April 10, 2009

Offbeat

Cricket on Everest

George Binoy

How far would you go to play cricket? A group of 50 people set out from Lord’s on Friday to play a Twenty20 match on Mount Everest in the Himalayas, the Times reported. They’ll get to their venue, a frozen lake near an Everest base camp called Gorak Shep (“dead raven” in the Sherpas' language), after 11 days of flying, driving and trekking to reach a plateau more than three miles above sea level - the highest altitude recorded for a field sport.

The teams – appropriately named Hillary and Tenzing – will use wooden stumps and bats, a pink leather ball, and an artificial pitch. The thin air is expected to make the player’s hearts beat 30% faster than usual and after their efforts they will take a proper British cricket tea and raise the Union Jack in the Queen’s honour. And oh, the game is being played for charity, with over £250,000 expected to be raised for the Himalayan Trust and the Lord's Taverners.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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