28 Jan 2009

Cricket mad Britons set to play on Mount Everest

9:51 am on 28 January 2009

Two teams of cricket-mad Britons vowed to take the sport to new heights by playing on Mount Everest in the world's highest-ever match.

The two teams are to make a nine-day expedition in April to Gorak Shep, a plateau 5,165 metres above sea level near the Everest base camp, for the record-breaking Twenty20 charity game.

England captain Andrew Strauss is the honorary skipper of Team Tenzing, while England vice-captain Alastair Cook is doing likewise for Team Hillary.

Self-confessed "cricket obsessive" Richard Kirtley dreamed up the Everest Test idea during a trip to the world's highest mountain in 2006. He saw Gorak Shep, thought it resembled The Oval cricket ground in south London, and resolved to set up a match.

The expedition leader says the game will go ahead on April 21 no matter what the conditions - clear blue skies or a blizzard.

The 22 players, eight reserves, medics, groundsmen and even spectators make up the 50-strong expedition party.

The cricketers have been training hard on cardio-vascular fitness to cope with the extreme conditions.