Cricketers warm up for Everest of all tests
A group of charity cricketers warmed up for a record-breaking match on Mount Everest yesterday by converting Trafalgar Square into a cricket pitch.
The 50 climbers will trek to the mountain plateau of Gorak Shep in the Himalayas in April to play the world's highest-altitude match.
Yesterday tested the artificial pitch they will take with them on the charity expedition.
Former England batsmen Mark Butcher and Chris Adams turned out to support the project, which will raise funds for the Lord's Taverners charity and the Himalayan Trust UK.
Surrey captain Butcher said: ``It's pretty bonkers, but anything that's out there raising money for good causes is terrific.
``I've played some pretty cold days up in Durham - at the beginning of April it's actually snowed - but not at 5,000 metres altitude where it's covered in snow. It will be something more of a challenge!''
After a nine-day trek, the Twenty20 match will be broadcast live from Everest to Lords.
Team captain Hayden Main, a lawyer from London, was realistic about the scale of the task ahead of the group.
He said: "It's a seriously intense challenge. It's quite dangerous, the altitude sickness will affect a lot of people.
"We have a strong medical team, but there's a lot of risk involved.''
Matthew Patten, chief executive of the Lord's Taverners, said: "Lord's Taverners believes that sport is essential for children in developing their well-being, and that's about pushing boundaries.
"There are lots of kids who live in certain areas or have disabilities which mean they have no chance to play sports of any kind.
"So to push the boundaries like these guys are doing by going to the top of Everest is an idea and sentiment that we and young people across the country can really identify with.''