‘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!

 

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/

 

Flicx UK donates a pitch to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation

The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation was formed in August 2011 to build and manage, on a not-for-profit basis, the first dedicated international cricket ground in Rwanda. The charity is run by a team of cricket enthusiasts from the UK and Rwanda, in partnership with the Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation

RCSF.org.uk

RCSF.org.uk

Development of a 4.5 hectare site on the edge of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, is due to begin in October 2014. From there, the Rwanda Cricket Association can continue their excellent progress in developing the game in schools and universities as well as amongst Rwanda’s most disadvantaged young people.

After hearing about the project Flicx UK Managing Director Richard Beghin decided to help. “I started Flicx so as to give the youngsters  of South Africa, after the apartheid era, a level playing field. A playing field without racial, social and economic inequalities where here kids could have fun no matter their background. It is clear that by playing a game of cricket that these kids develop a willingness to strive to improve and a passion to win so we are delighted to help by providing a pitch to the stadium project”. These  thoughts were echoed by  Jonathan Agnew, Former England Test Cricketer and Host of BBC Radio Test Match Special who is involved in the fundraising efforts saying “Given Rwanda’s troubled past, I am sure cricket can play a strong role in bringing the people of Rwanda together.”

Flicx will donate a full match pitch to RCSF which will provide a high quality, versatile surface for cricket in the country. In such a hot climate, where it is understandably difficult to maintain a cricket wicket, the Flicx Pitch will allow a great standard of match to take place with the batsmen able to play their shots with confidence whilst still taking seam and spin for the bowlers. It will also be possible for the team to roll up the pitch and take it round the country to inspire more people to play the game as a means to overcoming recent conflicts.

Said Heather Knight, England women’s cricket rising star and RCSW patron who visited Rwanda in February 2014 to coach the women’s players and support the work of the RCSF. “It great news that Flicx have kindly donated some of your pitches to Rwanda. Thanks so much! They will be put to great use out there I’m sure”

As part of the fundraising efforts,Wormsely will host a  BRIAN LARA INVITATIONAL XI VS WARWICKSHIRE 1990S XI on the 14th September in a match that will feature some high profile former stars including Andrew Strauss, Paul Nixon Ashley Giles, Clare Connor and Brian Lara himself. Flicx will be supporting that event too so keep following our blog for all the latest news on the RCSF project which is one of the beneficiaries of the Mt Kili Madness climb.

Rain unlikely to stop play – Ashes winners to fight cancer, poaching and promote cricket in Rwanda with record-breaking Kilimanjaro game

Yesterday the Kia Oval saw the launch of a world record attempt on the highest ever game of cricket, up Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, with teams to be captained by two Ashes winners: Ashley “King of Spain” Giles MBE – member of the legendary 2005 Ashes-winning England squad and Heather Knight, current England cricketer and Ashes winner.

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.

Heather and Ashley will be joined by other cricketing greats, including Clare Connor OBE – former England cricket captain, 2005 Ashes winner and now head of England women’s cricket and former South African cricketer Makhaya Ntini. Enthusiastic amateurs will make up the rest of the two teams, headed up by David Harper, who came up with the idea for the whole event in classic British fashion – down the pub.

David said: “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.

“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.”

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.”

Heather said: “I’m extremely excited to be involved in Mt Kili Madness. It’s set to be a very challenging, but amazing opportunity to raise some money for three great charities.

“After my visit to Rwanda earlier in the year, RCSF is a charity that has become close to my heart and to have the opportunity to climb the largest stand alone mountain in the world for RCSF along with two very deserving charities is a challenge I can’t wait to get stuck into.”

Ntini said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in Mt Kili Madness because although it will be a difficult personal challenge, the impact of cancer across society is so severe that we must do everything we can to try and stop it. This is a disease that is world-wide, ravaging not just South Africa but everywhere, and it is important that we all do everything we can to defeat it. For my part I am climbing up the highest mountain in Africa to play cricket, but for others it will just be about making a donation, raising awareness or just supporting a friend who is affected.”

To qualify for World Record status, the two teams must play a game of T20. 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 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.”

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.”

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 have 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.”

Cricket on top of the world - Everest Base Camp

Cricket on top of the world – Everest Base Camp

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.

For interview and sponsorship opportunities, please contact David or Matt, details below.

Contacts:

Website

mtkilimadness.com

Social media

@kilimadness

facebook.com/mtkilimadness

Donations to: PLEASE INCLUDE IN COVERAGE – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/MtKiliMadness.

Key facts

  • Fundraising target: £500,000
  • Date of match: 27 September 2014
  • Location: Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa

The charities:

Cancer Research UK – cancerresearchuk.org

Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. In the 1970s, less than a quarter of people with cancer survived. But over the last 40 years, survival has doubled – today half will survive. Our ambition is to accelerate progress and see three-quarters of people surviving the disease within the next 20 years.”

Tusk – Tusk.org

Tusk has, with its partners in the field, been at the forefront of promoting and funding community driven conservation programmes. The charity’s holistic approach recognises that the long-term future for wildlife is dependent on education and sustainable development.”

Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation – rcsf.org.uk

The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation was formed in August 2011 to build and manage, on a not-for-profit basis, the first dedicated international cricket ground in Rwanda. The charity is run by a team of cricket enthusiasts from the UK and Rwanda, in partnership with the Marylebone Cricket Club.”

Sponsors:

  • AVEQIA
  • Bench Events/AHIF
  • Canary Wharf Group
  • Hotel Partners Africa
  • Kia Oval
  • SAB Miller

About the organiser:

David Harper is one of the leading hotel real estate consultants in the world, having been involved in projects in over 136 countries. He is also an avid cricket fan, watching England all over the world, and playing on six continents. David has personal experience of cancer, having lost both his father and his mentor to the disease.

He has organised many events for Cancer Research including jumping out of an aeroplane, cycling to Amsterdam from London, bungy jumping off Victoria Falls, taking part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and abseiling off Twickenham stadium.

Emma Bamford, author of Casting Off, sailor and adventurer, who sailed with David in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, said: “All I did was fly halfway round the world to live on a boat with a stranger – a piffling ordeal compared to playing cricket at the top of a mountain. And what I want to know is – whose job is it to carry the cucumbers 5,785m up Kilimanjaro to make the tea? Seriously, it’s an astonishing project to raise money for very worthy causes. Good luck to all players.”

Oli Broom, Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation Trustee and author of Cycling to the Ashes: A Cricketing Adventure from London to Brisbane, added: “I was inspired to go on my own cricket adventure to watch an English Ashes win down under, so I can easily imagine that the prospect of playing the world’s highest, and some would say most eccentric, game of cricket ever will be more than enough to motivate you on your epic climb. What an adventure you’re going to have and I wish you all the very best of luck.”