Cure Leukaemia has been bowled over by Warwickshire County Cricket Club after striking a three-year partnership, which will see Edgbaston dedicating a day in honour of the blood cancer charity during the third npower Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston in August.
With a target to raise £75,000 to fund revolutionary treatments not normally available to leukaemia patients through the NHS, Warwickshire is donating £2 from every ticket sold from today for all days of the Test Match (starting 10th August) to the charity and is renaming its iconic Eric Hollies Stand as the ‘Cure Leukaemia Stand’ for Day 1 of the game.
The partnership caps a long standing relationship between Warwickshire and Cure Leukaemia, which has seen the Club raise thousands of pounds through cricketing initiatives, including a special edition match shirt in honour of the charity and a dedicated fundraising day at a previous county fixture. Ashley Giles, the Club’s Director of Cricket and former England spinner, has also been a Patron of the charity for several years. The Club’s Commercial Director, James McLaughlin, is also a Trustee for the charity. The stadium’s hospitality suites are also the venue for the charity’s famous annual Christmas ball.
Colin Povey, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said: “We’ve been working with Cure Leukaemia for several years and are determined to make an even bigger impact on the charity, helping it to save more lives through the pioneering treatments and world class research programmes it delivers here in the West Midlands.
"Everyone at Warwickshire Country Cricket Club and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is very excited by our plans, and is determined to raise as much money as possible for Cure Leukaemia through this three-year campaign. Turning the Sydney Cricket Ground pink in honour of the Jane McGrath Foundation in the fifth Test Match of the recent Ashes Series highlighted the positive influence that an international cricket match can make to a charity."
The Cure Leukaemia Day at the Edgbaston Test Match will see players and volunteers adopting the charity’s colour red, with collection buckets and mobile phone competitions to help raise money on the day in addition to that raised via the ticket sales. All spectators within the Cure Leukaemia Stand will also receive a red t-shirt to wear in honour of the charity.
Based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (also known as the Leukaemia Centre) at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Cure Leukaemia undertakes world-class research into cures for the disease and employs 15 research nurses to administer treatments at hospitals across the West Midlands.
Professor Charlie Craddock, founder of Cure Leukaemia and Director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital’, said: “The target of £75,000 from Warwickshire County Cricket Club would help fund another three research nurses to administer drugs – not regularly available on the NHS – that have saved the lives of patients who originally had slim chances of survival.
"This partnership is the biggest in the charity’s history, and the generosity of Warwickshire will make a monumental impact on our work in the future. With the combined support of England and India fans on the day, we can take a giant stride towards curing leukaemia."