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.