A MATCH on top of Mount Kilimanjaro has broken the world record for the highest game of cricket ever played.
And Simon Rogers, from Whiteley, was part of the ‘Mt Kili Madness’ team – a group of 30 who broke the record.
Simon, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra Solent Eye Hospital, was in the team which also included ex-England spinner Ashley Giles and former South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini.
Simon said: ‘This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. To make it to the summit is a special thing, but then to play a game of cricket is absolute madness.’
The previous record was set at base camp Everest – an altitude of 5,165m.
The new record-breaking game was played at a height of 5,752m (18,871ft) in a flat crater just below the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.
The team played 10 overs of a Twenty20 game – before clouds stopped play – in aid of Cancer Research UK, Tusk and Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation.
They took seven days to complete the climb and all 30 made it to the summit.
The match saw the Gorillas team, led by England women’s vice-captain Heather Knight, take on the Rhinos team, led by Ashley Giles. The Gorillas scored 82-5 to beat Giles’ team, who only managed 64-9.
Simon said: ‘I have always been quite active and adventurous and personally, at work, I am involved in managing patients with cancer, specifically skin cancer involving the eyelids, so to have the opportunity to raise money for Cancer Research UK and take on this unique challenge was not something I was going to turn down. It has been an experience I will never forget.’
To celebrate the achievement, and the breaking of the Guinness-World Record, a fundraising dinner was held in the Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground, partly sponsored by Optegra Solent Eye Hospital.
Simon was a host at the gala dinner, which through ticket sales and a silent auction helped raised £50,000 for the charities involved, taking the team’s total close to £200,000.
Simon said: ‘I am very proud of our achievement. We have been able to raise a lot of money for some excellent charities, I have met some incredible people, climbed a mountain and now am a world record holder.’