Put on your Bad Idea Snow Pantsâ„˘. A bunch of Brits have decided the best and most obvious way to raise money for youth sports in England is by playing a cricket match on Mount Everest.
While touted as the highest-altitude game of cricket, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s the highest-altitude game of anything. At 17,000 feet, it’s twice as high as FIFA will let soccer players play for fear of health risks. So what are the risks, besides death by Yeti?
- One third less oxygen, which means your heart has to beat one third faster.
- Suppressed appetite, which means your body won’t bother to tell you it needs fuel until it’s too late.
- Sleeplessness, which means your body won’t tell you it needs to rest, even after a week of hiking.
- A little something called Acute Mountain Sickness, which can lead to cerebral or pulmonary edema. (That’s fancy-talk for your brain exploding, and your lungs exploding, respectively.)
The players will hike nine days before reaching the site of their Twenty20 match. If not enough of them survive the climb to play a full game, does the charity still get the money?
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.”
Surrey captain Mark 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!”