‘This is absolutely incredible! We are playing cricket on the summit of Africa!’

Cricket legend Ashley Giles was among the stars of the game, past and present, in attendance as the world’s highest ever cricket match was played out near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on Friday.

Balls were plucked out of thin air and hit onto the roof of Africa as the match was played in a freezing ice crater near Mt Kilimanjaro. 

England limited overs coach Giles and South African fast bowling legend Makhaya Ntini were among the participants, which took place not far from the 19,341ft (5,895m) Tanzanian summit known as the roof of Africa.  

A group of more than 30 players, official umpires and support crew trekked almost 20,000 feet to the top of the great African peak over eight days in a bid to surpass the record set in 2009 on Mount Everest.   

The two teams, also including former England women’s captain Clare Connor, current national representative Heather Knight and more from Australia, Canada, Kenya and South Africa, reached their target around dawn on Friday after slowly scaling the mountain to ensure they acclimatise properly.

They then rolled out a plastic pitch 2G Flicx Pitch over the ice and set about playing a full Twenty20 match. Just by being there, let alone playing a game of cricket, the teams risked acute mountain sickness, deadly pulmonary or cerebral oedema, but it’s all for a good cause.

For their efforts they aim to raise money that will go towards cancer research, African wildlife conservation charity Tusk Trust and building Rwanda`s first international cricket pitch. The match, once ratified by authorities, will break the 2009 Everest record by about 600 metres.

 

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Flicx Pitch hosts World Record Breaking Cricket game for Mt Kili Madness

Congratulations to the 30 strong MT Kili Madness expedition team including team captains Heather Knight and Ashley Giles who this morning have reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and broke the record for cricket’s highest ever game that had been set in 2009 on the slopes of Mount Everest.

The match was played just below the summit of the ‘Roof of Africa’ at a height of 18,799 feet. The teams, which included former internationals from England and South Africa, made a grueling eight-day trek up the extinct volcano in Tanzania. Their venture, dubbed Mt. Kili Madness, aims to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK, Tusk Trust (wildlife conservation) and to promote the sport in Rwanda via the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation Project.

Flicx UK were delighted to support this amazing challenge by providing the pitch for the game which was carried up Africa’s highest mountain in 8 sections, each weighting 15kg before being pieced together at the top providing a great surface for the game. Previously Flicx had supplied the Everest team with their pitch too, so we can rightly claim to take cricket to places it has never been seen before! We look forward to the full match report shortly – the final score was tweeted a short time ago from the official twitter account. Please check out the website and get donating!

 

Secretary of State ‘bowled over’ by Beach Cricket plans

Last Thursday, Steve Double, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for St Austell and Newquay, welcomed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Sajid Javid MP to Cornwall, taking him to Watergate Bay Beach where the Cabinet Member was able to participate in a game of Beach Cricket which was played on a new 2G Flicx Pitch.

Sajid Javid takes strike on a Flicx Pitch as part of the beach cricket competition launch

Sajid Javid takes strike on a Flicx Pitch as part of the beach cricket competition launch

The meeting at Watergate Bay was arranged by Steve Double and Sean Hooper of the Cornish Cricket Company to announce new plans for the first National Beach Cricket Competition scheduled for next year.

Speaking at the launch Sean Hooper said ‘I have had plans for a few years now to bring a national beach cricket tournament to Cornwall. Here on the north coast of mid-Cornwall we have a number of beaches that provide brilliant venues for this sport which is growing in popularity, especially here at Watergate Bay.’

‘Working with Nick Webb of Bare Feet Production and using my contacts within the cricketing world we plan to bring up to 32 teams here to Cornwall next year for the first National Beach Cricket Competition. My aim is that this will take off and become a regular event here in Cornwall that will attract participants and spectators from around the country’.

Commenting on the plans Sajid Javid MP said ‘Anything that encourages people to get involved in sport has to be a good thing. I love the sound of these plans as they present a new and exciting opportunity to make the most of the wonderful beaches in this part of Cornwall for one of my favourite sports. As well as promoting a new and innovative form of cricket they will also attract people to Cornwall to support the local tourist industry’.

Steve Double, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the area said ‘I have been in discussions with Sean Hooper about this idea for several months. It is brilliant that we are now in a position to announce the plans and move forward with bringing this competition to mid-Cornwall next year. This is just the type of event we need to see more of in this area as it will attract new people to Cornwall and help support tourism outside of the peak season. I am delighted to be able to bring Sajid to the constituency and show him just what a great place this part of Cornwall is and how we have people who are working together to find new ways to support the local economy.’

Flicx UK are working in partnership with Sean and his team to get the event off the ground and an agreement has been put in place which will see the whole competition played on Flicx Pitches. Sponsors of the National Beach Cricket Competition will be able to have their company branding on the pitches which can also be bespoked in terms of colour and design.

After meeting with Steve Double and Sean Hooper to discuss the plans the Secretary of State tried his hand at batting against some young cricketers from Truro College.

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Truro College youngsters at the launch

Final details for the tournament will be announced shortly and will be held in May or September 2015. Subscribe to the Flicx Pitch blog for all the latest news on first National Beach Cricket Competition. 

Flicx Pitch presented to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) at Brian Lara charity match

Flicx UK presented the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) with a fully bespoked 2G Flicx Pitch to help support the project which aims to build and manage, on a not-for-profit basis, the first dedicated international cricket ground in Rwanda. The pitch was presented at a recent charity cricket match in aid of the RCSF which was held recently at Wormsley. The sun shone (mostly), there was a great atmosphere and almost £50,000 was raised towards the project; building a future for cricket in Rwanda.

With the centre stage of Brian Lara Rwanda XI vs Warwickshire legends XI the crowd were greatly entertained. With the likes of ex internationals such as Lara himself, Andrew Strauss, Ashley Giles, Paul Nixon, Matthew Hoggard and Gladstone Small, a decent crowd watched the action unfold at this picturesque ground tucked into the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire.

Before the start of the game the children around the ground were encouraged to join some cricket games run by the coaches of Cricket Without Boundaries. CWB are a charity who have been fundamental to the rise of cricket within Rwanda after multiple trips to the country, thousands of kids have been introduced to cricket and hundreds of teachers taught how to coach cricket in the country. Flicx were delighted that CWB CEO David Murray could present the pitch to RSCF Project Director Ed Pearson.

Speaking about the donation Richard Beghin owner of Flicx UK said “It is always heartening to meet people like Ed that have the same passion  in terms of bringing about accessibility to sport and the power it has to bring people together and teach important values and skills. We look forward to hearing about the positive impact that this Flicx Pitch will have in changing peoples lives in Rwanda” 

Off to the top of the world … 2G Flicx Pitch departs for Kili Madness

On Friday the Flicx Pitch which we be transported up Mount Kilimanjaro for Mt Kili Madness left Brackley in Northamptonshire, bound for the top of the world. Later this month, two teams of players will climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain to play the world’s highest ever game of competitive cricket to raise money for charity.

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The Pitch is collected from Flicx UK

 

The team who are raising funds for Cancer Research UK, Tusk and the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) are already £45,000 towards their £200,000 target. The pitch will be carried up the mountain in 8 sections and put together once at the summit… Once rolled out, the game can take place!!

At 5,785m this will be over 600m higher than the current world record set in 2009, a game also played on a Flicx Pitch, this time at Everest base camp. The hike in itself is challenging with seven days climbing to the summit. It is estimated that over 30% of all climbs end in failure. However, for this record attempt, to get to the summit is where the challenge really begins. Once we reach the crater at the very summit of Mount Kilimanjaro we will lay down our track, put in the stumps and make our makeshift club house in order to play the cricket match of a lifetime. A full game of cricket at such altitude has never been attempted, because the air is so thin there is a real danger of altitude sickness, a complication that can be fatal.

This is truly an epic challenge, an unforgettable experience, and one which will put cricket at the top of the world. Flicx UK wish the team, the best of luck and have requested that the pitch be donated after the climb to a local school.

More information at http://www.mtkilimadness.com/