Brit bats for 26 hours in world record bid
LONDON: A British graduate collapsed in a heap on Tuesday after batting for 26 hours solid at The Oval cricket ground in London in a bid to break the world record.
Alby Shale, 22, from Oxfordshire in southern England, began his marathon stand in the indoor nets at 6:45 am (0545 GMT) on Monday and finally declared his innings at 8:45 am on Tuesday.
The attempt was in aid of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation -- a charity set up to create an international-standard cricket ground in the African country, where the game is emerging.
The previous batting record of 25 hours was set in October by Australian batsman Jade Child.
Shale, who has just graduated, is now waiting for Guinness World Records to go through the documentation and confirm his new landmark.
He faced around 200 bowlers in his spell at the crease. One of the bowlers was Prime Minister David Cameron, who turned up to give him a few deliveries.
With 10 minutes to go, Shale shrugged off the tiredness and started
slogging at every delivery.
"At the final ball he just sort of collapsed into a heap and everyone piled in on top of him," a spokesman for the attempt told AFP.
"Someone sprayed a bottle of champagne all over the place."
He then posed for pictures by the clock showing 26 hours.
The rules set down by Guinness World Records 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 Festival in June 2011.
The charity is hoping to raise #600,000 ($900,000, 700,000 euros) to build a cricket ground with a pavilion and some seating. Around #400,000 has been raised so far.
The world record attempt brought in a few thousand pounds through online donations and bucket collections but the main aim was to raise awareness of the cause.
The charity is supported by patrons including Cameron and West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara.
Shale said there was "huge enthusiasm" for cricket in Rwanda but the country was "sorely lacking in facilities".
"A new home of cricket in Rwanda -- the first dedicated international standard pitch -- would be a great boost to all the cricketers over there," he said.
Rwanda joined the International Cricket Council as an affiliate member in 2003 and has played regular matches since.
Eventually, the plan is to build a muti-purpose sports centre around the new ground, with any profits being ploughed into Rwandan cricket. (AFP)