Game on for the long­est match

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

Peo­ple who love to watch cricket for hours on end are in for a treat this week­end.

Mike But­ler, Si­mon McGrath and 22 Corn­wall team­mates will try to break the world record for the long­est con­tin­u­ous cricket match.

They planned to start the match at Corn­wall Park from 9am to­day.

Drive for 55 will see them play­ing for 55 hours through to Sun­day at 4pm.

And it’s all for a good cause, with pro­ceeds raised go­ing to the Star­ship Foun­da­tion.

Mike says the idea first popped into his head in the of­fice one Fri­day af­ter­noon think­ing about his cricket match the next day.

“I googled the long­est match and we talked about break­ing it,” he says.

“Af­ter a while we thought it’s not such a silly idea af­ter all.”

The group planned break­ing the of­fi­cial Guin­ness world record of 36 hours, set by a group of English­men, by play­ing for 45 hours.

But three weeks ago they dis­cov­ered an Aus­tralian group played for 50 hours and 15 min­utes over Easter, which has not yet been of­fi­cially recog­nised as a world record.

De­ter­mined not to be out­done by the Aussies, the Mt Eden res­i­dent says they de­cided to play on for a lit­tle bit longer.

“If it’s warm, sunny weather we’ll be happy, but if we have to bat in the rain, then we’ll bat in the rain.”

Full teams will face each other for the first 10 to 12 hours, then three or four play­ers will ro­tate off once it gets dark.

Play­ers can sleep while their side is bat­ting, but will have to face away from tem­po­rary flood­lights brought in for the overnight ses­sions.

“Our wives and part­ners are go­ing to bring down food for us,” Si­mon says.

And choos­ing a char­ity was easy, with Si­mon and Mike’s chil­dren both need­ing care at Star­ship hospi­tal soon af­ter they were born.

“They saved my daugh­ter’s life from birth so I thought we should give some­thing back,” Si­mon says.

Star­ship Foun­da­tion com­mu­nity fundrais­ing man­ager Sarah Bell says they are “de­lighted” to be the cho­sen char­ity.

Rocker Jor­dan Luck will per­form at 4pm on the Sun­day to cel­e­brate com­plet­ing the match.

Spectators can also en­ter a bowl-off com­pe­ti­tion to win tick­ets to Aus­tralia. Qual­i­fy­ing rounds for the bowl-off are on Satur­day af­ter­noon, with fi­nals on Sun­day.

To make a $3 do­na­tion, text cricket to 469.

Plenty of stamina:

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Si­mon McGrath, Stephen Knowler, Mike But­ler and Ryan Al­lan are go­ing to need their cof­fee when they take part in a world record at­tempt for the long­est con­tin­u­ous cricket match at Corn­wall Park this Fri­day.

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