Cricket fan cycles to Australia

Cricket fan cycles to Australia

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England captain Andrew Strauss, left, with charity cyclist Oli Broom

Cricket fan Oli Broom has knocked the charity world for six – by cycling from England to Australia in time for the first Ashes Test.

The hardy 29-year-old arrived in the Gabba ground in Brisbane on Wednesday after nearly 14 months of frantic pedalling.

Mr Broom, whose efforts raised more than £30,000 for charities the British Neurological Research Trust and the Lord’s Taverners, set off on his bike from Lord’s cricket ground on October 10 last year with 17 friends.

“When we reached England’s south coast, they all turned around and went home,” Mr Broom wrote on his website.

“I jumped on a ferry to France and later that evening began cycling across Europe.

“Since that weekend I have pedalled through 23 countries, have had a hit of cricket in all but three of them (and including Serbia, Turkey, Sudan and Malaysia), and have so far managed to persuade kind donors to raise over 50,000 dollars for my chosen charities.”

Mr Broom, a chartered surveyor from Cookham, Berkshire, covered a massive 15,500 miles on two wheels to be met by his proud family and friends on arrival in Brisbane.

And there was a special guest awaiting his arrival when he was welcomed into the Gabba, where the first Ashes Test will be contested.

England captain Andrew Strauss presented the cyclist with a signed shirt.

Mr Broom embarked on the epic journey after realising he was not fulfilling his dream “by sitting behind a desk every day in London”.

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