Sir Ian Botham begins Sri Lanka walk
Sir Ian Botham has completed day one of his walk around Sri Lanka in blistering heat.
Last Updated: 01/11/13 12:34pm
The cricket legend and Sky Sports commentator is aiming to help residents of Mankulum, in the north of the country, a town that was badly affected by the country's recent civil war.
The opening leg covered 20 miles in heat approaching 40C and began with a guard of honour at the local cricket club in Kilinochchi.
Botham and his party were led off by brass band on their eight day trip from north to south.
Former players Steve Waugh, Allan Border, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mahela Jayawardene are expected to join Sir Ian on his travels and he admitted the blistering heat had taken its toll.
"It was tough and we knew it was going to be hard," he told Sky Sports News.
"The problem is, when you stop your body almost shuts down. I closed my eyes here and I was gone, which is nice.
"I will go back to the hotel, have a bath, get some ice, do some stretching and have a check over.
"I will probably sleep for a couple of hours and then eat and go back to bed."
Botham praised the support of the crowds that had spurred him on, after around 3,500 people lined the route on day one.
"The general and the army up here have been brilliant. The hospitality has been second to none," he added.
"The organisation was magnificent and to manoeuvre 3,000 soldiers around this walk today was quite remarkable.
"Great start, terrific, come on the rest of Sri Lanka, match it!"
Day two of the walk covers the 25km route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale.
You can follow Botham's progress on Sky Sports News, online with skysports.com and on your iPad. To donate to Beefy's fund-raising effort simply visit www.justgiving.com/BeefysSriLankaWalk