By Ollie Godden
At first suggestion, a continuous 48-hour cricket match seems a less than attractive proposition, but Hatfield student Ben Gould’s No Boundaries world record attempt in aid of PAPYRUS mental health charity previewed by Palatinate proved to be a huge success and a big hit with volunteers and donors alike, raising over £1,600.
As the first band of men and women clubbed together on a dreary Monday evening in Durham School’s indoor hall on the 12th Feburary, the end goal seemed a long way away. Gould himself even admitting after the event he wasn’t sure he realised “quite how long 48 hours would feel in one sports hall”.
However, a can-do attitude from all present set the tempo from the off. With MCCU talent down to first time players, the spirit of the event was encapsulated within moments.
The first gruelling night shift seemed to be a hard slog for those involved, but a visit from Durham County Cricket Club’s James Weighell and Matthew Potts lifted the mood the next day.
Gould’s younger brother Tom, 19, hosted the professionals for their stint and was impressed with their commitment.
“They really picked up the spirit of the occasion and increased the quality of the cricket massively,” he said. “We are very grateful for them and the rest of DCCC for supporting us”.
London consultancy firm JDX were present and provided strong support too, with Durham alumnus Alex Moore attending the event personally on behalf of the company.
As the hours went on, running between the wickets dramatically reduced but there were still tons earned in the night sessions (12am-7am) – the only one of the three daily sessions not to be run in pairs cricket forma, players instead given unlimited time to bed in for the night.
All the while, generous donations were coming in via the JustGiving page set up for the event raising money for PAPYRUS.
With suicide the leading cause of young deaths, PAPYRUS exist to listen, support, and guide young people with mental health issues who are thinking of committing suicide.
Gould was hoping for four figures from fundraising but that was easily surpassed within the first session – an outstanding achievement.
Reflecting on the feat, Gould sought to appreciate the help he received.
“I am so grateful to everyone who took the time, effort and lack of sleep to come and play cricket to help support such a worthy charity.”
On the topic of fundraising, Gould was unsurprisingly ecstatic. “We absolutely smashed our target which I am over the moon about, a big thank you has to go to JDX, Durham School and DCCC for making it all possible”.
Finally discussing the bizarre notion of early hours cricket, Gould remarked that it was “tough but also weirdly fun”. The Hatfielder was effusive in his praise for volunteers – friends old and new – who gave up their time to make the event a success
In the end, the attempt was secured with relative ease but a definite lack of sleep. Gould’s efforts were certainly fruitful and a grateful PAPYRUS will no doubt reap the rewards of the Durham community’s hard work.
Photograph: @JDX_Consulting via Twitter