Ahead of England’s 1,000th Men’s Test match in Birmingham, starting on Wednesday 1 August, Edgbaston Stadium and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have launched a celebratory match between the fans of England and India.
Taking place on Wednesday 18 July, 6pm start, the Edgbaston Fans Trophy will see England’s Barmy Army take on the National Asian Cricket Council’s (NACC) India Fans XI in a T20 match at the Edgbaston Foundation Ground on Portland Road, Birmingham.
Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Edgbaston Stadium, said: “The Edgbaston Fans Trophy has been staged since 2016 as a way of bringing together cricket supporters ahead of one of the biggest fixtures of the cricketing summer.
“This year is extra special, with the match being developed in partnership with the ECB, Barmy Army and NACC to support the celebrations around Edgbaston hosting England’s 1,000th Men’s Test at the beginning of August.
“We’re very grateful to all partners for their support and look forward to bringing this fixture to our Edgbaston Foundation Ground for the first time.”
The Edgbaston Fans Trophy was first played at Attock CC in Birmingham in 2016 between the Barmy Army and the NACC’s Pakistan Fans XI ahead of the Test at Edgbaston later that summer.
Mohammed Arif, National Growth Manager - Diverse Communities – at the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: “Cricket is a game the brings people together, no matter their background. The Fans Trophy is a great example of just that. As a governing body we are working to ensure that our sport is reflective of modern communities across the county and show that cricket is a game for everyone.”
Last summer’s Edgbaston Fans Trophy was played at the Edgbaston Cricket Centre between the NACC’s India Fans XI and Pakistan Fans XI ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy meeting at Edgbaston between India and Pakistan. However, this year sees the Barmy Army’s return.
Chris Millard, Managing Director of the Barmy Army, said: “It is always a pleasure to be asked to take part in such a prestigious game which is hosted by the best ground in the UK.
“Edgbaston in the home of the Barmy Army and somewhere we hold very closely to our hearts. We are very well known for our loud singing and party atmosphere in the ground but our playing ability is a little more unknown.
“We always have a great game against the NACC in a game that shows exactly what cricket is all about so do your best to get down if you are around on the 18th.”
Gulfraz Riaz, Chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council, said: “As we welcome India to these shores for what promises to be a great cricketing spectacle, it is fantastic to see that we are playing our third annual Edgbaston Fans Trophy game, this time between the NACC Indian Fans XI and the Barmy Army Fans XI at the Edgbaston Foundation Ground.
“I am extremely grateful to the team at Edgbaston that continue to give such great support to these fans games, that then allows fans from both sides to come under the umbrella of the cricketing family on and off the pitch. Cricket is a unique game that is embraced by many communities from many backgrounds and with the South Asian Cricketing Community being an extremely important member of the game, we send a strong message that together we are stronger.”
Entry to the Edgbaston Fans Trophy is completely free for all spectators, with doors opening at 5.30pm ahead of the 6pm start.
©Cricket World 2018