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Feature: When Cricket was played on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

With the world currently battling the deadly coronavirus and sporting activities around the globe have taken a temporary break, has decided to utilise this spare time to take a look beyond the traditional boundaries of the cricketing fraternity. In today’s piece we will discuss about world’s highest-ever cricket match that took place in Mount Kilimanjaro…

With an altitude of 5895 metres, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is regarded as the “Roof of Africa” and with three cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi” and “Shira”;  it is a sleeping volcano as well. However, the most interesting fact about this mountain is that it once hosted an unique cricket match involving top international cricketers. The game was played at a height of 5,730 metres (18,799 ft) in a flat crater just below the summit and till date it is the highest-ever game of cricket that has ever taken place.

On September 2014, a group of 30 former and active cricketers, including the Ashes winning England spinner and ECB’s current director of cricket Ashley Giles, ex-South Africa speedster Makhaya Ntini, the former England women’s skipper Clare Connor and the current England woman captain Heather Knight trekked for seven days to play that game.

The contingent reached a height of 18,910 feet, where the 10-over-a-side match was played between Gorillas (led by Knight) and Rhinos (led by Giles) with official umpires.

At that altitude balls travel much further and anticipating that they carried 24 additional cricket balls to make up lost shots.

The Gorillas batted first and made 82 for 5 from their 10 overs. In reply,R finished their innings at 64 for 9, giving the Knight-led team an 18-run triumph in this historic fixture.

Not to mention, a matting turf was used for this unique game.

The game proved tough for many of the players as exertion at altitude is very demanding. However, the organisers provided the enough time for acclamation to the players so that they can cope with any issue of altitude sickness that can occur on Kilimanjaro.

The contingent, through that record-breaking match, raising funds for cancer research asfas well as fortfor protection of endangered African wildlife. Also, a portion of that fund was used in the construction of the recently inaugurated international cricket stadium in war-affected Rwanda.

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!


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