County cricket side to play in Kenilworth this June
By James Smith
30th May 2023 | Cricket
County cricket comes to South Warwickshire next week when Birmingham Bears lock horns with a Birmingham & District Premier League Select XI at Kenilworth Wardens on Monday June 5 (5.30pm start).
As their Blast campaign gathers momentum the annual meeting of the Bears with the very best of Midlands' cricket's leading league promises to be a mouth-watering occasion.
Last year's meeting went the way of the professionals by a 54-run margin thanks to a fine batting display in which Rob Yates stood out with a blistering 45-ball 86 including seven fours and six sixes.
The League side retains only four of last year's squad with the home club's Jamie Harrison – who in 2022 became the first batter to top 1000 league runs in a season for many years – given an opportunity to impress Bears' Head Coach Mark Robinson.
Sub-continental talent is also on display in the shape of Indian pro Swapnil Gugale and Pakistani ace Ali Zaryab while veteran seamer Andy Sutton is rewarded for a prolific 2022 campaign.
According to Robinson the match plus the youth coaching, autograph and photo sessions which take place before it from 4pm are highly significant to Warwickshire.
"Last year's game was fantastic," he said. "An excellent crowd came along to watch an entertaining, competitive match. It was played in great spirit but was also a tough challenge - we wanted our players to be tested.
"Just as importantly, many young fans got the chance to meet their cricketing heroes as players including Chris Woakes lent a hand in coaching sessions before the game.
"The club has vowed to make these days regular fixtures in the diary. They show how much we value our local clubs and want to maintain close links.
"Warwickshire is a community Club at heart, we never forget our roots, which is why events like this are so important."
Entry to this cashless venue is £5 by card and children under 16 are free. Car parking is free while catering and bar options are available.
Birmingham & District Premier League: Neil Pinner (Kidderminster, captain), James Middleton (Knowle & Dorridge, wk), Jamie Harrison (Kenilworth Wardens), Swapnil Gugale (Harborne), Ali Zaryab (Kenilworth Wardens), Basit Zaman (Worfield), Ollie Currill (Knowle & Dorridge), Ed Bragg (Halesowen), Jack Grundy (Knowle & Dorridge), Tommy Rex (Kenilworth Wardens), Andy Sutton (Barnt Green), Adam Hines (Barnt Green)
Bears: Squad to be finalised following T20 Blast games played next weekend
Umpires: David Gower and Keith Little