This post was originally published on All Out Cricket on May 16th 2017.
Rwandan cricketer Eric Dusingizimana has become a Guinness World Record holder after batting for 51 hours non-stop in a cricket net in Kigali.
The attempt began at the Amahoro National Stadium – the home of Rwandan football – at 8am on May 11 and finished at 11am on May 13, two full days and three hours later. Under the rules of the attempt, the batsman is allowed a five-minute break every completed hour to take on food and go to the toilet.
The attempt was supported by Volcanoes Safaris, who have been operating in Rwanda since 2000, as well as Surrey County Cricket Club, whose players wished Eric luck in a video before he began. Eric attempt breaks the 50-hour record set by Indian Virag Mare in 2015.
Eric, a 29-year-old allrounder, is the Rwandan national team captain and has been playing cricket for 10 years. Speaking afterwards, he said: “I am so happy to have helped raise awareness for cricket in Rwanda and the work of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF). We need to build the future of cricket in Rwanda, which is why the stadium is important. But we want also want to use the new facilities to help the sport unite our country and raise awareness about the importance of health and education.”
RCSF project director Alby Shale, who broke the record himself with a successful 26-hour attempt at the Kia Oval in 2013, said: “I can’t believe the record is now nearly double what it was three years ago. Well done to Eric, it was a privilege to be a part of his wonderful achievement.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair, who bowled at Eric towards the beginning of his attempt, said: “The last time I bowled was most likely at school, so it was great to have a bowl against Eric. What he did is an incredible feat: batting for 51 hours non-stop and breaking the world record, and, in doing so, helping raise money for Rwanda’s first cricket stadium. So I offer my congratulations and wish him and the RCSF all the best as they look to build a better future for cricket in the country.”
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) was formed in August 2011 to build and manage, on a not-for-profit basis, the first dedicated international cricket ground in Rwanda. The charity is run by a team of cricket enthusiasts from the UK and Rwanda, including patrons Brian Lara, David Cameron, Jonathan Agnew, Clare Connor and Makhaya Ntini.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in December 2015 and development of a 4.5 hectare site on the edge of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, will begin later in 2016. From there, the Rwanda Cricket Association can continue their excellent progress in developing the game in schools and universities as well as amongst Rwanda’s most disadvantaged young people.