A CRICKETER has completed a marathon batting challenge in aid of a fellow player who is set to have a life-changing operation next year.

Craig Rochford, who plays for Talbot Cricket Club, successful faced 24 hours in the nets at the indoor cricket centre at Hurn.

The impressive feat was made even more special as Craig was raising money to support Rob Franks, who has built up enough money to have his leg amputated to relieve the immense pain he suffers on a daily basis.

Over the course of the challenge Craig was at the crease for 5,880 deliveries - equivalent to almost 11 full days of Test cricket.

From the 980 overs of bowling the stumps were only hit 11 times.

On his incredible effort of endurance, Craig said: "The physical side was okay. The hardest part was the mental side.

"Between 4.30am and 6am I was just using the bowling machine.

"It was all worthwhile and we have raised more than £800 so far."

As the end of the challenge approached, the man it was all in aid of came along to give his support and provide the extra boost Craig needed.

Rob, who plays for Middlesex disability county cricket team and is head coach at Ellingham Cricket Club, has been looking to have his leg amputated for around two years.

After initially having a bone tumour removed from his knee in 2011, a repeat operation to remove a larger tumour two years later resulted in severe nerve damage.

In 2014, Rob returned to cricket - the sport he loves - with Dorset in a disability team, however in his second game he shattered his femur as he stepped forward to hit the ball.

Surgeons used pins, plates and a metal rod to repair the break, but it will never fully heal, leaving Rob in excruciating pain despite medication.

"It has got so bad that I just want this done as soon as possible," Rob said.

"It is a massive decision, but my whole family are behind me and it is going to give me a much better life.

"Craig has gone above and beyond what I could ever expect anyone to do.

"I cried when he first told me he was going to do it. The generosity and kindness of people is just overwhelming - it has blown me away."

Rob has raised enough money for his operation, which he is hoping to book in for early 2018.

He is now using any additional donations to fund post-operation recovery treatment.

Angus Fraser, managing director of Middlesex Cricket Club, has told Rob he can work with the professional physios at the club to help speed up his return to fitness after his operation.