Non-stop cricket world record
Staff from Loughborough University have set a new world record for the longest continuous game of cricket. Two teams of 11 - and one substitute fielder per side - utilised floodlights to play through wind, rain and hailstorms to extend the previous record by around 45 hours and set a new mark of 150 hours and 20 minutes.
While the record remains unofficial for now, organisers have sent extensive data - including sworn statements by participants, umpires and onlookers and video - to Guinness World Records in anticipation of verification of their achievement. Among those making appearances as umpires were former England players Matthew Hoggard, Paul Nixon and Alex Tudor, former New Zealand player Iain O'Brien and Derbyshire's Wes Durston. Graham Lambert and Stephen Holt of rock band The Inspiral Carpets also visited.
The game was inspired in an attempt to raise money for the Harley Staples Cancer Trust. The charity was setup in 2009 by Katherine Staples in memory of her son Harley, who passed away in 2009 after a long battle with a rare form of Leukaemia; B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Burkitt Type. It is hoped the game will have raised around £15,000. For more details visit www.charitygiving.co.uk/cricket.
"We played 25 matches in a cycle," one of the organisers, Chris Hughes, told ESPNcricinfo. "We had torrential rain and hailstones the size of golf balls but, in true British tradition, we kept calm and carried on. Nothing Mother Nature could conjure up was going to stop us from breaking the record and raising many thousands of pounds. And we're already talking about having a go at extending the record next year."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo