Cricketing star Dougie Brown is preparing to swap his cricket whites for desert boots to raise money for a leukaemia charity.
The Warwickshire and England all-rounder will embark on an eight-day trek across the Sahara next October with hardened adventurer Kay White, who lives in Edgbaston.
The trek will take in the Draa Valley, Ridwat Mountains, and the moving dunes of Erg Smar.
Brown decided to get involved after attending a sports dinner in aid of his chosen charity, Cure Leukaemia.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Rubery, Worcestershire, said: "I met Kay at a Cure Leukaemia dinner earlier this year and was so inspired by all the challenges she's taken on that I offered to be part of this one.
"I know a lot of people who support or are involved with the charity, and I wanted to do it off the back of my benefit year.
"I'd like to do one or two more big challenges after this, so a trek across the Sahara seems a good starting point."
Temperatures in the desert can range from about 35?C during the day to -6?C or lower at night.
However, Brown believes the heat will not be such a major factor as he knows what to expect.
He said: "A couple of years ago I coached Namibia during the World Cup and I've played in hot climates before, so I don't think the heat will be a major issue
"While I was out there I spent some time exploring the Kalahari desert, trekking up some of the biggest sand dunes in the world.
"The sand was so soft I'd sink up to my knees with each step so, aside from being able to deal with the heat, I'll need power in my legs.
"However I don't think we can rehearse or train for all the other things the desert may throw at us, like sandstorms."
He added: "I'm sure there'll be blisters and other occupational hazards like scorpions and snakes, but I'd prefer not to think about those."
Kay White, whose former husband is currently in remission from leukaemia, is aiming to become the fastest woman to trek to the North Pole in April when she embarks on an Arctic adventure for Cure Leukaemia.
The charity is inviting people to take part in the weeklong Sahara Challenge, in October and November 2006, for £2,500 each. Brown added: "We need people to trek with us. There is a cost involved, but if people aren't interested in doing that they can still make donations.
"The Professional Cricketers' Association has covered my costs so every penny I raise will go to the charity.
"I am hoping I won't have to do too much extra training because what this trek will be about is time on our legs so my normal team training should take care of that.
"I'm sure I'll have to do a few sessions dragging tyres across the Lickey Hills but 'm really looking forward to it." n To find out more about the Sahara Challenge, or next summer's Kilimanjaro Challenge, call Cure Leukaemia on 0121 452 5081 or visit www.cureleukaemia.co.uk