A trio of cricketers are recovering after they smashed a Guinness World Record by batting non-stop in the nets at Northgate Sports Hall in Sleaford for 72 hours while raising thousands for charity.
Billingborough Cricket Club team mates Dave Newman, 37, Richard Wells, 25, and Shaun Brown, 31, set out on the challenge at 9am on Thursday, finishing three days later at 9am on Sunday. They have so far raised over £4,000 for the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance.
Having faced a staggering 76,160 balls during the challenge, they hope donations will continue to flood in to achieve their overall target of £15,000. (Donate at https://goo.gl/SG3DWj).
Three years ago, Dave and Richard took it upon themselves to support a team mate diagnosed with two brain tumours (from which he fully recovered). They broke the world record for the longest net session, continuously batting for 48 hours, while raising more than £16,000 for Brain Tumour Research. Since then their feat has been surpassed and the pair decided to break the current figure of 52 hours, with help from teammate Shaun Brown.
There were emotional scenes as family and friends congratulated the trio having achieved their 72-hour goal.
Shaun, whose ankle swelled up after the event, said they never doubted they would beat the current record but three days was an unknown factor.
When they surpassed the current record, Richard said: “I broke out a bit of a smile, but knew we were going for the big one.”
Dave said: “We knew what we wanted to do and had to work the times and the rotas and breaks and Richard’s sister Lucy had an input, doing a fantastic job. She managed us lot.”
Shaun’s parents came down from the Lake District to support him and they thanked all their family and friends for their support.
All three said their feet and hands were sore from holding the bat and standing for so long - particularly from going with barely a break to ‘save up’ their permitted breaks in order to take 20-30 minute ‘power naps’ to sustain themselves.
Richard said: “All three of us went through some dark times.”
Dave said: “Ninety per cent of what hurt was the soles of your feet and you couldn’t do anything about it, apart from socks with powder in and keep changing your footwear, but that worked and then it didn’t.”
Richard described how supporters were dodging balls from the bowling machines to spoon feed them to not interrupt the flow.
Nearing the finish line, tiredness affected Richard’s vision and he struggled to see the balls. He said: “I was just trying to guess where it was.”
Dave admitted to hallucinating about cheese and Shaun thought he saw the red and yellow balls turn into the characters from the M and M advert, while for Richard the white lines on the sports hall floor became rooms floating before his eyes.
“It was really weird,” he said.
They also had support on the Friday night from DJ Malc who boosted their spirits with some dance tunes. Dave said: “It got into beat and it was brilliant, really good and we needed it.”
Then on Saturday Councillor Fido brought down his mixing decks to entertain the boys. Richard said: “He rocked up and he said to me, ‘Do you want some proper naughty beats?’ and I said, ‘Yeah’. It was awesome!”
Their efforts were mentioned on BBC Test Match Special and received support from the England players, Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott.