Kathmandu: Nepal’s record-breaking climber Chhurim Sherpa will carry the bat and two playing shirts of deceased Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes to the top of the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest.
The 25-year-old Australian died on November 27, 2014, following injuries from a bouncer which hit the back of his head during a first-class match.
Churrim will raise Hughes’ bat at the top of the Everest in a symbolic tribute like the #PutYourBatsOut gesture that generated a lot of response from a global audience in the weeks that followed Hughes’s death, reports Cricket Australia (CA).
Churrim, a world record holder for climbing the world’s highest summit twice in a season, said, “If you’re really determined, you can definitely take yourself to new heights and that’s what I’ve done.”
Hughes’ still grieving family, in a letter penned to the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) wrote: “The Hughes family would like to thank the CAN and everyone else involved in organising this special tribute to Phillip. Phillip’s death moved many people around the world in ways that we don’t fully comprehend — to us he was our son, our brother and we miss him beyond words.”
“To so many other people he was a young cricketer working hard to achieve his dream of playing cricket for Australia. While achieving this dream, he also touched many individuals and left behind a new meaning of working hard and giving hope to children that anything is possible. We know our loss is shared by many and we thank you for honouring Phillip in this special way.”
CA chairman Wally Edwards noted that “the offer to take Phillip’s cricket equipment to the top of Mt. Everest is something that can only be offered by Nepal. And we are pleased that Nepal has made this very, very generous offer.”
If weather conditions allow, Chhurim will begin her ascent on April 17 when she will make the six-day trek from Lukla (2,860m) to the Everest base camp and then, over the ensuing three weeks, gradually acclimatise to the altitude beyond the initial camp at 5,380m.
Once weather forecasts have been assessed, Chhurim will embark on the 10-hour push for the summit of the Everest between May 17-25, heading out from the final camp site (7,470m) around midnight to ensure sufficient time is allowed for the difficult descent.
She is then expected to return to Kathmandu by May 31 where Hughes’ bat and shirts will be presented to Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White. The ambassador will house the items at the Australian embassy where they will be put up for public viewing.