For the fourth year running, Armed Forces cricket will once again be showcased at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, on 28 June, with the Royal Navy hoping to retain the title of Inter Services Twenty20 (IST20) champions.
Planning is well underway in order to make this a day of celebration for the Armed Forces. A representative cricket ball has already been flown to Afghanistan and is currently being transported around all the UK force bases. A replica of the ball was recently used in a local Afghan cricket match.
The ball will return to RAF Brize Norton and then be carried via a sponsored bike ride in support of Help for Heroes to arrive at Lord’s at 9.30am on 28 June. The day will also showcase the recent Absolute Challenges Lands End to John O’Groats bike ride in support of The Royal British Legion with the riders appearing to present the sponsorship cheque to Maj General Bill Moore. The Armed Forces recruiters have also been in liaison with the Middlesex Cricket Board to identify 80 schoolchildren who will be given the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf during the first interval.
This cricket demonstration will be supported by both the Combined Services Coaching Association and the England Disability Team. After 65 years, Kings Troop will leave St John’s Wood for new barracks at Woolwich in December and they are planning a spectacular goodbye to Lord’s during the second interval in concert with the band of the Welsh Guards. There is sure to be plenty of pomp and circumstance as these two historic regiments join forces to provide breathtaking entertainment.
Major General Bill Moore, Chairman of Combined Services Cricket, commenting on the planned events says: “I am delighted that the Marylebone Cricket Club is willing to allow such a celebration of the Armed Forces. While we must not forget that this is primarily a very high calibre cricket tournament, I am extremely pleased with how the whole event is unfolding. It will be a marvellous day for the players and supporters alike and I would encourage people to come along and support not only their team but also the Armed Forces and our charity partners, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion. Let us all contribute to make this a day to be remembered and repeated in the future.”
Keith Bradshaw, MCC Secretary & Chief Executive says: “The IST20 match is a highlight of the fixture list at Lord’s. We are especially pleased this year that MCC is able to support both the Royal British Legion in their 90th Anniversary year and Help for Heroes with their important fundraising work. I would encourage all cricket lovers to join us at Lord’s on 28th June for what will be an exciting day of cricket. MCC will once again be broadcasting live ball-by-ball commentary of the matches via the Lord’s website. This service enables the public and those serving in our armed forces around the world to log on and support their team from wherever they may be based.”
Bryn Parry OBE, CEO & co-founder, Help for Heroes says: “The IST20 Cricket Match is sure to be a complete sell out and is a great way to ‘do your bit’. Take your picnic, settle down for some great cricket and support our wounded heroes - this will be a fantastic day out for all the family.”
Chris Simpkins, The Royal British Legion Director General, says: "We are thrilled the Legion is one of the chosen charities supported by IST20. This fantastic game is set to be a fun, sporting day out for the whole family. The generous donations we receive from the game will go straight towards our welfare services. The Legion spends £200,000 a day caring for serving and ex-Service personnel and their families, and we are grateful for every single donation received. Without such generous public support over 90 years, The Royal British Legion would not be able to carry out its invaluable work and stand shoulder to shoulder with all who Serve."
Ticket purchasing and information is available now at www.ist20.com – be one of the first to purchase your tickets and show your support and appreciation. It promises to be not only a great day’s cricket but also a celebration of the Armed Forces.”