168 hours to glory: Blunham Cricket Club battle extreme weather in race to create world record
The club are trying to beat 150 hours and 14 minutes – the record which was set by Loughborough University Staff Cricket Club in 2012.

A group of players from Blunham Cricket Club in Bedfordshire are braving extreme weather conditions as they attempt to set a new world record by playing for 168 hours straight.

Twenty-four players from the club began the longest cricket marathon on Sunday and intend on playing for seven straight days. They have already played in conditions where temperatures touched 32 degrees, while Tuesday brought torrential rain that left parts of the outfield submerged in water.

If they are successful, it will be the third time Blunham would have held the marathon record. However, previously they played for 56 hours and 105 hours, but this time they are trying to beat 150 hours and 14 minutes – the record which was set by Loughborough University Staff Cricket Club in 2012. The record attempt is set to end on Saturday at 4pm.

“Fortunately for us, it was 20 minutes long, but it was a hell of a lot of rain in 20 minutes. It flooded the pitch, our feet were just swimming,” organiser George Hutson told Press Sports Association on Wednesday.

“It was an amazing experience. You’re never going to play cricket in anything like that again.”

Under the rules, each team must bat for three hours before the players get half an hour’s rest. The club are out to create the record which is also a fundraiser for two charities – nearby St John’s Hospice and Mind – and the local sporting community.

“Every day it’s been so busy, they’re cheering us on. During the storm, we had 22 people playing and then we had 50 people who’d come to watch holding up gazebos for us,” Hutson informed.

“When you’re batting, if you’re not opening you get time to nap there. So you just hope your opening bats can last their three hours so you can get a little bit of a rest, but it doesn’t work like that every time. We’re 115 hours in, I reckon I’ve had about seven (hours’ sleep).”

The week is proving to be quite mentally challenging, but Hutson said that there have been some moments of quality on the pitch. “One player, David Garofalo, scored a double hundred,” he said.

“We’ve had some really, really good catches in the slips, considering we’re all so tired. You’ve got players diving to the left and to the right. And some interesting shot selections – just to pass the time really, we try to emulate professional cricketers, so we’ve got people playing the Kevin Pietersen switch hit and the Jos Buttler ramp shot.”