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England’s highest cricket match played on Helvellyn mountain



Jonny Manning,BBC News, North East and Cumbria

Team handout The teams carrying their equipment up the mountainTeam handout

The teams carried their equipment and the pitch up Helvellyn to play England’s highest match

England’s highest cricket match has been played on top of a Lake District mountain, raising £13,000 for charity.

The Helvellyn Eleven – players from Ambleside, Keswick and other Cumbrian clubs – trekked up the peak they are named after to face Henley Cricket Club.

The teams raised funds for research into a heredity form of muscular dystrophy, which affects one of their friends.

Ben McGregor, from Ableside Cricket Club, said the players wished they “could play there every week”.

He added: “The idea really excited us, but we knew there would be a lot of work to get it done for the trip to actually go ahead, with weather being one of the main concerns.

“We walked up in beautiful sunshine – all in our shorts – and we were sweating a bit.

“Then we got to the top and the clouds just kind of consumed us. It was a little bit chilly up there.”

Team handout The Helvellyn Eleven teamTeam handout

The Helvellyn Eleven trekked up the mountain to play Henley.

The players carried an artificial pitch weighing 19st (120kg) to the top.

It was split into three sections and then re-assembled at the 950m-high summit.

They also took 30 balls with them and, despite the terrain and poor visibility, just one was lost during the game.

Mr McGregor said there was no rain on the day and, even with the altitude, they managed to play the match to “quite a good standard”.

The Cumbrians battled to a draw with their opponents, who had travelled up from Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

The teams had aimed to raise £10,000 for research into Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, an inherited condition that affects the muscles in a person’s extremities.

Their teammate John Neville, who has the condition, got to the summit using his walking aids.

After playing the Helvellyn match, the cricketers are now considering other feats to increase their fundraising.

“We thought we could we play one in the middle of a lake or the lowest cricket match,” said Mr McGregor.

“It would be great to do something similar and try and achieve another record at some point.”

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