The Mayor of the West Midlands’ inter-generational Cricket Cup made a return to Edgbaston stadium, bringing together a diverse community. Last year’s match was cancelled due to the pandemic, but the sporting event returned to the County Ground last week.
Mayor Andy Street, an avid cricket fan, again hosted the tournament, which aims to unite different generations and communities across the region, reflecting the diversity and encouraging people of all ages to keep active.
Mayor Andy Street said: “It was wonderful to see the intergenerational teams return to the pitch at Edgbaston, highlighting the diverse range of communities we have here in the West Midlands.
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“As well as being a great fun day out which I hope l inspire more people to take up cricket or other physical activity it was an opportunity to say thank you for those communities who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.”
The teams playing on the pitch were mixed age with young players aged14-16 years playing alongside older players aged 55-plus. In addition, faith and community groups were invited to sign up to the tournament, which filled up quickly resulting in registration closing early.
Ravi Masih, Head of Community Engagement at Edgbaston and Lead of the Edgbaston Foundation, said: “Edgbaston is renowned for being a top class venue that accommodates thousands of people from around the world each year for cricket and events, but we also want it to be a venue right at the heart of our local community that is welcoming to all near and far.
“Providing the opportunity for anyone of any age and ability to follow in the footsteps of many of the world’s best cricketers, by playing at Edgbaston in the Mayor of the West Midlands’ intergenerational Cricket Cup, is our way of making the stadium as accessible as possible.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to continue working with and his team at the West Midlands Combined Authority by hosting this event and we hope that everyone who took part relished the opportunity to play at one of the world’s most iconic cricket venues.”
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The event gave groups of people who may not normally mix the opportunity to meet one another, network and build new relationships. The mixed-aged teams were named after Commonwealth countries – England, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada – to mark next year’s . Each side played a minimum of four matches, lasting 40 minutes each, with the top two teams playing in the fifth-round final. The winners ‘New Zealand’ beat ‘South Africa’ in a thrilling match.
Special appearances were made by Warwickshire batsman Dan Mousley and bowler Manraj Johal, who presented team New Zealand with the Mayor’s Cricket Cup and each player with a winner’s medal.
The tournament is organised by the Edgbaston Foundation, the official charity of Edgbaston and Warwickshire County Cricket Club, with the club providing professional coaches and umpires on the day. The event was sponsored by Cadent, the UK's largest gas distribution network.