Friday, 8 November 2013

Briton sets world batting record to aid cricket growth in Rwanda


Alby Shale poses next to an electronic timer after batting for 26 hours at the Oval cricket club in London, on July 16. Inset: Alby Shale with his Guiness Book of Records certificate

GUINNESS World Records has confirmed Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation trustee Alby Shale as the longest individual cricket net holder after spending 26-hours in Kia Oval cricket ground in July in a bid to raise money for construction of an international cricket ground in Rwanda.

Shale, 22, faced over 6000 balls in 26 hours of batting at Surrey County Cricket Club’s home ground from July 15-16, beating the previous record by an hour. Remarkably, he was not bowled out until 13 hours into the challenge.

According to the rules set by Guinness World Record, Shale was allowed only a five-minute break every top of the hour to ‘refuel’ and go to the toilet. All breaks were meticulously recorded by a team of volunteer witnesses before being sent to Guinness for verification of the record.

Shale faced around 200 bowlers in his spell at the crease – including Prime Minister David Cameron, who turned up for a few overs. With 10 minutes to go, Shale shrugged off the tiredness and started slogging at every delivery.

The challenge was an attempt to raise funds and awareness for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation ( a Rwanda-based charity run by British and Rwandan members.

The charity, the brainchild of Alby’s late father Christopher Shale and a close friend of Cameron, aims to construct a new home for cricket in Rwanda.

Shale said, “I am pleased to officially call myself a Guinness world record holder, but even more so that I have helped a wonderful country towards its vision for a new cricket stadium.”

“It is a very exciting time for Rwandan cricket. In ten years time I will almost certainly not be a Guinness world record holder, but Rwanda will have an international cricket pitch to be proud of. That is what’s important,” added Shale.

Cameron tribute

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who took part in the event hailed the achievement on Twitter saying, “The 26-hour cricket net that I took part in for @Rwanda Cricket has been confirmed as a Guinness World Record!”

Project Director RCSF, Ed Pearson said, “This story has been published in 50 countries across the world and of course it is a platform for us to create awareness because we are really a small charity foundation from the UK.”

The event raised £12,000 (approx. Rwf10.8 millions) for the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation. The new ground will be located in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro District, with construction due to begin early next year.

So far the charity has raised £400,000 (about Rwf361.2 millions) with £12,000 coming from online donations and bucket collections from the world record attempt. The total target is £600,000 (about Rwf541.8 millions).

Briton sets world batting record to aid cricket growth in Rwanda


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