Botham braces for ‘daftest’ challenge in Sri Lanka

August 15, 2013 (AFP) – England cricket legend Sir Ian Botham said Thursday he has accepted his “daftest” challenge — walking hundreds of miles under Sri Lanka’s scorching sun to raise money for charity. “It is good to make appeals on television, but when they see you actually doing something, then they are likely to give more,” he said.

The walk is due to end on November 8 at the southern town of Hambantota.

Botham visited Sri Lanka soon after the December 2004 Asian tsunami, which killed more than 31,000 people 0n the island and devastated much of its coastline.

In March 2011 he visited Sri Lanka’s northern region nearly two years after the end of a decades-old Tamil separatist war. Botham said he would walk nearly 375 miles (600 kilometres) from the former war zone in the island’s north to the southern home constituency of President Mahinda Rajapakse starting November 1.

“It is the daftest thing I have agreed to do… it is going to be in temperatures of 40 degrees (Celsius, 104 Fahrenheit),” Botham told reporters in Colombo while announcing his fund-raising walk.

“This is going to be the hardest walk. We have done 1,000-mile walks… walks in the Alps, but nothing like this.