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Edgbaston Stadium and Warwickshire County Cricket Club are continuing their partnership with the Armed Forces and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), based at the neighbouring Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB), by staging a charity t20 match between a Combined Services Invitational XI and a Warwickshire Legends XI.
Staged at the world-famous cricket venue on Saturday 7th July, the match will give members of the Combined Services XI a chance to take on former Warwickshire stars, including the Club's current coaching team of Ashley Giles, Dougie Brown and Graeme Welch.
Proceeds from the event will be shared between the QEHB charities, Military Patients Fund and Troop Aid. Both charities provide additional equipment and welfare support to aid the recovery of injured service personnel whilst in Birmingham.
Colin Povey, Chief Executive of Edgbaston Stadium, said: "The Armed Forces have been a long-term partner of Edgbaston, and with the redevelopment of the stadium now complete, we recognised a great opportunity to enhance our fundraising opportunities and give these very deserving individuals - that make up the Combined Services team - an opportunity to play at one of the world's most famous cricket venues."
"We recognise the fantastic job that the Forces do for our country around the world and with the QEHB located near to the stadium, it is important that we support this very worthy cause. We hope that that many serving personnel will be able to join us here at Edgbaston, and take advantage of this offer for the two Warwickshire Friends Life t20 fixtures as well for the match against our Legends XI."
The event falls in-between Warwickshire’s Friends Life t20 fixtures against Gloucestershire Gladiators (Friday 6th July) and the Welsh Dragons (Sunday 8th July) in a thrilling weekend of cricket. Armed Forces personnel, employees of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHBFT) and members of all three Emergency Services from around the country can take advantage of a great offer and gain entry to all three events for just £5. Tickets for the general public will cost £15 for each Friend Lifet20 fixture and entitle the holder entry to the Combined Services XI v WOCCA fixture and activities on Saturday 7 July.
There will be music and a display by the Pipes and Drums Band of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The match also coincides with the Edgbaston Beer Festival which is being hosted, in association with Marston's in the ground's new Exhibition Hall.
As part of the announcement of the fixture at Edgbaston on Saturday 7th July, several members of military staff at Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at QEHB visited the current Warwickshire CCC squad at Edgbaston, including Cpl Jay Baldwin of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.
Cpl Baldwin has served for nine and a half years in the Army and had undertaken four operational tours, until he was injured by an IED blast on 31st January, this year, whilst on routine patrol with the Afghan national Army in the Nahr-e-Saraj district in Helmand Province. On return to the UK from the British Field Hospital at Camp Bastion, Cpl Baldwin spent 34 Days at QEHB and had at least 12 surgical procedures performed as part of his treatment.
A keen cricketer since the age of 10, Cpl Baldwin played cricket for Ifield in the Sussex County League and has represented the Infantry in numerous cricket competitions as an opening batsman and bowler. He said: "The chance for my colleagues to play at a world-class venue like Edgbaston is a great opportunity, and one that I'm sure they will relish."
"The care and support from the team at RCDM has been fantastic and I'm very grateful to everyone involved in my surgeries and rehabilitation. It’s great that these individuals have the support from Edgbaston and Warwickshire CCC to enable them to continue doing the great job and treating other injured military personnel."
The recipient charities, the QEHB Charity: Military Patients Fund and Troop Aid provide invaluable support to injured personnel and their immediate families during and beyond their hospital stay. Charitable support helps to provide basic essentials right through to 'little' luxuries thereby improving their quality of life for the duration of their time at QEHB.
Colonel Kevin Beaton, Commanding Officer of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, said: "I am delighted to support this exciting event. It will not only provide vital funds and exposure for charities that support our recovering personnel but will be an opportunity for military and civilian staff to enjoy two of the best things about an English summer - cricket and beer."
To book your ticket for Edgbaston's Cricket & Beer Festival, please visit, http://www.edgbaston.com/tickets