Wednesday 26 July 2017

UK wins South Pole cricket fixture

Britain triumphed over the rest of the world in a game of 'extreme' cricket at the South Pole
Britain triumphed over the rest of the world in a game of 'extreme' cricket at the South Pole

The leader of a team of adventurers said he hoped Captain Scott was looking down and smiling as they played a game of "extreme" cricket at the South Pole to mark the 100th anniversary of his arrival there.

Britain beat the rest of the world by two wickets in a match which saw players using a high visibility orange ball, swathed in bulky clothing, sliding on ice and braving temperatures plunging as low as minus 35C (minus 31F).

The event marked the centenary of Scott's arrival at the South Pole in 1912 and the end of a gruelling expedition by a team of British adventurers led by former SAS officer Neil Laughton.

Mr Laughton, chief executive of the Business Leadership Academy, said the explorers had been in "great spirits" as they marked the anniversary by playing a game against scientists from all over the world based at the Amundsen-Scott research station in Antarctica.

"We had a great game - Britain versus the rest of the world - and I am pleased to report that Britain won by two wickets," he said.

"Obviously it was very cold and difficult with all the bulky clothing to bat and bowl and slide around in the field to catch the ball but we managed it fine. I thought it was quintessentially British and I wanted to do something that does not happen down here very often, if at all."

He added that he hoped the game would have pleased Captain Scott, saying: "With the British outcome, at least he is looking down hopefully and this put a smile on his face."

Mr Laughton was joined on the expedition by Julie Ashmore, a businesswoman and mother of two young children from Banbury, Oxfordshire; James Balfour, an entrepreneur and adventurer who climbed Everest at the age of 24 and who is working in Poland; and Jonathan Beswick, an architect working in London who has ridden solo by motorbike across the Himalayas and is joining them from Santiago.

The adventurers had walked up to 10 hours a day pulling sleds loaded with fuel and equipment in temperatures as low as minus 40C (minus 40F) once wind chill was taken into account.

The adventurers are fundraising for a range of charities including Save the Children, the British Schools Exploring Society and Fairbridge, which helps disadvantaged young people.

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