Monday, May 23, 2011

A cricketer atop the highest peak of the World

Ambati Rayudu whose last ball six is now spoken of so high, was a child prodigy and was thought of as a batsman who would walk into the National team.  After not being able to breaking in, he joined the rebel Indian Cricket League, went adrift – now is proving himself good for the Mumbai Indians.  Had written recently about Tine Mena, the first Indian woman to conquer Mt Everest and the record of Apa Sherpa.   Surmounting mountains has been a human passion from time immemorial.  The highest peak in the World named after the famous Surveyor has challenged thousands and only few have succeeded. 
Photo of Mt Everest by Aldas Baltutis
Here is something which could connect, Edmund Hillary, Ambati Rayudu, Tine Mena and et al.    This is a story of a talented cricketer who played in 78 Tests hit 2865 runs had more than 200 victims.  In One dayers, he played in 179 aggregating 3314 with close to 150 victims.   He is a Maori as well.  The Maoris are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.  Aotearoa is the widely known Maori name for the Kiwiland and the word is understood to mean the land of the long white cloud.   Maoris have unique culture, own language, a rich mythology and performing arts.  

If you have guessed it – it is the story of Adam Craig Parore, a stylish wicket keeper who played for the New Zealand for more than a decade.  This man born in 1971 donned various hats.  After announcing his retirement, he was a Mortgage broker, played in ICL for Chennai Superstars.  He holds the record for the highest One Day International innings score without a boundary (96 vs India, in Baroda, 1994].

Edmund Hillary was a kiwi as well.  Parore is a Maori and is in news as he summitted  Mount Everest recently with the climbing company Himalaya Experience.   He was guided by a  Queenstown mountain guide  Mark Woodward who has stood atop Mt Everest eight times and his next challenger from Kiwi is two less than him.  On 20th May 2011, Adam Parore, Woodward and their group of 8 clients, 3 guides and 10 sherpas stood atop the 8848 m mountain.  The 40 year old Parore has been preparing for more than a year and has been in Nepal since March to acclamatise and prepare for fulfillment of his lifelong dream. 

It is reported that Woodward first climbed Everest in 2004, and has climbed it every year except 2008 since then, reaching the top twice in 2007, which was quite unusual for non-Sherpas.   Woodward has a lengthy career as a climber and climbing guide and has ascended many peaks including Mt Cook-Aoraki and 22 of Mt Aspiring.

Like the ball that would wobble out of the gloves at times, Adam Parore had failed in his first attempt but the grit and determination that he displayed during his cricketing career was to the fore as he succeeded in the second time despite running out of oxygen and "freaking out" several times on his way up.  Upon ascending the peak, he spent around half an hour and was reported to have said "I had great plans on what I should do and how I might feel but in the end it was a bit of an anti-climax. I just wanted to get down and live."  Parore would raise USD 100,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation from his climb.

Yesterday Franklin sparkled – there was a time when Parore, Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Hamish Marshall, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Daryl Tuffey, Shane Bond and Andre Adams all turned up for different ICL teams.  Well, do you remember any of those closely fought matches ?

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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