Several leading cricket stars are expected to join Sir Ian Botham’s charity walk from Killinochchi to Seenigama spreading over eight days. The walk titled ‘Beefy’s Big Sri Lankan Walk’ is in aid of the charity Foundation of Goodness is planning to establish in north. Sri Lanka cricketers Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Chaminda Vaas are trustees of the charity run by former Cricket Board Secretary Kushil Gunasekara.
The organizers said that the walk will be joined by former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly and Botham’s Ashes rivals Alan Border and Steve Waugh. Former rugby great Morne du Plessis, who managed the 1995 World Cup winning South African team will also join the walk.
The walk that gets underway on the 1st of November will start at 8:00 am each day. On the first day Sir Ian is expected to walk from Killinochchi to Mankulam, the site of the Northern Project of Foundation of Goodness. The walk is expected to take five hours and the former speedster is expected to walk at a speed of seven kilometers an hour.
Yesterday, Botham urged Sri Lankans to join his walk. “We have people flying from all over the world to walk with us, who have signed up with Paradise Vacations, our Official Tour Partner. The more walkers the merrier we will be! We are also encouraging everyone to sign up and walk with us for a day,” he said in a statement.
Botham has been a prodigious fundraiser for charitable causes and so far has done 12 long-distance charity walks. His first walk was undertaken while still he was active as a player. His efforts have raised more than 12 million Pounds for charity with most of them going for Leukemia Research.
How much will this walk raise, Botham was asked? “If we say one million, everyone will stop with one million. We will try to raise as much as we can. We are pretty good at highway robberies you know.” His latest walk was in April for Leukemia Research and it raised a total of 1,600,000 British Pounds.
“The Sri Lankan walk is the toughest thing that I have agreed to do. It’s going to be 40 degrees out there. But it’s for a great cause. It’s a tough schedule to keep up, but I am determined. Nothing is going to stop me from completing the Walk,” he added.
Sir Ian Botham’s Schedule
- November 1st Killinochchi Central College – Mankulam Cricket Ground
- November 2nd Anuradhapura Cargills Food City – Mihinthale School Ground
- November 3rd Sigiriya Rock – Dambulla Stadium
- November 4th Kandy, Cargills Food City – Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
- November 5th Colombo, Galle Face Green – Premadasa Stadium
- November 6th Hambantota Cargills Food City – Hambantota Public Ground
- November 7th Martara Cargills Food City – The Fortress Hotel
- = November 8th Galle Cargills Food City – Seenigama Cricket Ground
Walks will start at 8:00am each day. (The Island)