Brit bats non-stop for 26 hours

2013-11-08 19:30
Alby Shale (AFP)

London - A British graduate who batted for 26 hours solid at The Oval cricket ground in London has broken the world record, officials confirmed on Friday.

Guinness World Records said Alby Shale had set a new global benchmark with his marathon feat in the indoor nets.

The 22-year-old, from Oxfordshire in southern England, started batting at 6:45am on July 15, and finally declared his innings at 8:45am the following day.

The attempt took months to verify as officials had to plough through the hours of footage.

The attempt was in aid of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation - a charity set up to create an international-standard cricket ground in the east African country, where the game is emerging.

"I am pleased to officially call myself a Guinness World Record holder, but even more so that I have helped a wonderful country towards its vision for a new cricket stadium," Shale said.

"It is a very exciting time for Rwandan cricket. In 10 years' time I will almost certainly not be a Guinness World Record holder, but Rwanda will have an international cricket pitch to be proud of. That is what's important."

The previous record of 25 hours was set in October 2012 by Australian batsman Jade Child - who says he is planning a 30-hour net session to reclaim the record.

"Alby lasted 26 hours" and "faced a total of 6 062 deliveries", a Guinness World Records spokesperson told AFP.

He was fed by around 200 bowlers in his spell at the crease, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who sent down some left arm swing deliveries.

Shale also faced England all-rounder Ravi Bopara and former Australia batsman Tom Moody.

Despite the onslaught of deliveries, it took more than 15 hours before he was clean bowled.

The rules set down by GWR allowed only a five-minute break for every full hour completed - to refuel and go to the toilet.

The idea was the brainchild of Alby's father Christopher Shale, Cameron's close friend and his Conservative Party constituency chairman, who died of a heart attack at the Glastonbury music festival in 2011.

The charity is hoping to raise £600 000 to build a cricket ground with a pavilion and seating. Shale's record attempt raised £12 000 towards the total.

Rwandans who fled the 1994 genocide returned home having learnt the game in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, with just a few old bats and balls between them.

The existing cricket field in the capital Kigali had been the site of a massacre and remains were found when the tall grass was cut to create the pitch in 2002.

For the next few months it was not unusual for a fielder, when chasing after a ball, to trip over a human bone.

Rwanda joined the International Cricket Council as an affiliate member in 2003 and has played regular matches since.

The plan is to build a muti-purpose sports centre around the new ground, with any profits being ploughed into Rwandan cricket.

Read more on:    cricket

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