A Hampshire eye surgeon was part of the ‘Mt Kili Madness’ team, a group of 30 men and women who have broken the world record for the highest game of cricket.
Mr Simon Rogers, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra Solent Eye Hospital, was part of a team which also included ex-England spinner Ashley Giles and former South Africa fast bowler Makhaya Ntini. Together they have raised close to £200,000 for charity.
The previous record was set at Base Camp Everest, an altitude of 5,165m. This record-breaking game was played at a height of 5,752m (18,871 ft) in a flat crater just below the summit of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.
They played 10 overs each of a Twenty20 game before clouds stopped play, to help raise funds in an innovative way for Cancer Research UK, Tusk and Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation.
Taking seven days to complete the climb, which can be done in four days, gave the group time to acclimatise and all 30 made it to the summit.
The game was a competition between the “Gorillas” team, led by England women’s vice-captain Heather Knight, and the “Rhinos” team led by Ashley Giles. The Gorillas scored 82-5 to beat Giles’ team, who only managed 64-9. The game was watched and cheered on by a group of bemused local guides and porters.
To celebrate the massive achievement, and the breaking of the Guinness-World Record, a fund-raising dinner was held in the Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground, partly sponsored by Optegra Solent Eye Hospital.
Mr Rogers was a key host at the gala dinner, which through ticket sales and a silent auction helped to raise additional funds, raised just over £50,000 for the charities involved, taking the total close to £200,000.
Simon Rogers, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra Solent Eye Hospital said: “This was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. To make it to the summit of Africa is a special thing, but then to play a game of cricket is absolute madness!
“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.
“I was asked to get involved by an old school friend, and when I heard about the idea I was intrigued. 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.”
Find out more about Mr Simon Rogers in his biography