With cricket and other sports hard hit by the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns that followed one village club came up with an innovative way to raise money and help lift the spirits.

They began to do what they do during every match. Set runs.

And they didn’t stop running until they broke the world record for the number of runs completed in 12 hours.

Now Buckingham Town Cricket Club had had its achievement recognised by the Guinness Book of Records after chalking up 6,605 runs in 12 hours – more than double the 3,000 or so it needed to break the record.

Almost 200 local people, including Buckingham MP Greg Smith and Buckingham Mayor Geraldine Collins, took part in the attempt, alongside super fit sportsmen running at top speed and local members of the public walking just a few runs to help their village bag a place in the record books.

There was no ball so it was simply a case of keeping the runs going with runners wearing pads and carrying a bat.

The attempt began at 7.30am and finished at 7.30pm, followed by an open air screening of Grease. Cricket coaching workshops for children ran throughout the afternoon to encourage the next generation into the sport.

It raised around £8,000, with one schoolboy cricket player raising £1,000.

Some of the money raised in August is going to Buckingham charity Alec’s Angels, named after Alec Jarvis, who died aged 10 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Alex wanted to fundraise for other children he saw at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, because he thought they "looked sad" and even donated more than £100 – his birthday money – towards paying for toys for children on the ward. 

Alex’s father Brian, who set up the charity, said: "He was an exceptional little boy. He’d skip down the corridor to his radio therapy sessions.  He never complained about his own pain but selflessly wanted to help the other children with cancer. We know Alec would have wanted us to carry on his work so that’s why we set up the charity."

The attempt began at 7.30am and finished at 7.30pm

Credit: Dale James/sportsshots.org.uk

Buckingham Town cricket players Dane Tuttlebee and Ernie McDade came up with the idea of the record attempt after seeing a similar successful Guinness World Record completed involving lengths of a swimming pool.

Mr McDade, who is also the club’s barman, said: "It’s an enormous achievement by everyone. Hundreds of people turned out to help us set a world record. This year we didn’t feel we could charge subscriptions as the season has been cut so brutally short as cricket was the last sport to recommence after lockdown. That’s hit our finances hard. It’s been fantastic to see everyone rally round to raise money and it was great to see so many people having such fun.

"Fit and unfit, old and young, lots of people have joined in to help raise money and be part of this great event."

The official entry in the book of Guinness World Records now states: "The most cricket runs in 12 hours (team) is 6,805, achieved by Buckingham Town Cricket Club (UK), in Buckingham, UK, on 30 August 2020. 186 individual participants of all ages completed runs in cricket pads and carrying a bat during the record attempt.

"The event was organised to raise funds for charity and achieve something amazing. The team covered a total distance of 149,710 yards (136,894 metres)."