April 15, 2009

Offbeat

Everest match drowns in red tape

Brydon Coverdale



It's good to know that the prevalence and strength of red tape isn't affected by altitude. The British group that was flying, driving and trekking for 11 days to play cricket on Mount Everest – see the Buzz entry two blogs ago – has been turned away by Nepalese conservation officials.

They were aiming to play a Twenty20 match more than three miles above sea level in what would be the highest altitude recorded for an organised field sport. But the touring party has been refused access to the Sagarmatha National Park and was told nobody was allowed to play cricket inside the protected area.

It seems the Brits have been caught in the middle of a power struggle between the Minister for Forest and Land Conservation, who said they could play, and the national park’s management, which said they couldn’t. The match was due to go ahead next week, which means the players have a few days to try and sort out the bungle.

As if climbing Mount Everest isn't hard enough. The whole fiasco must feel a little like being stranded on 99.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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