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01 December 2023

Britain wins South Pole cricket match


A team of British adventurers won a chilly game of cricket against "the rest of the world" at the South Pole on Tuesday, marking 100 years since the arrival there of explorer Robert Scott.

Battling temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius (minus 31 degrees Fahrenheit) and sliding over the ice, the British side beat an international team of scientists from Antarctica's Amundsen-Scott research station by two wickets.

"Obviously it was very cold and difficult with all the bulky clothing to bat and bowl," said the victorious team's leader Neil Laughton, a former officer in the British army's elite SAS special forces.

"But we managed it fine. I thought it was quintessentially British and I wanted to do something that does not happen down here very often, if at all."

Tuesday marks 100 years exactly since Scott's ill-fated group of British explorers reached the South Pole, more than a month after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

Scott and four of his compatriots died on their return journey, falling victim to extreme cold, exhaustion and starvation.

Laughton, who followed in Scott's tracks to raise money for several charities, said he hoped the explorer would have been pleased by Tuesday's victory.

"With the British outcome, at least he is looking down hopefully and this put a smile on his face," he said.