Warwickshire County Cricket Club has announced that it is taking the Bears men’s team on the road in the 2022 season by playing two T20 friendly matches against representative local league teams in the heart of the county.
The Bears Roadshow will see the Bears travel to Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club on Tuesday 31 May to take on a Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League (BDPCL) XI, before facing a Warwickshire County Cricket League (WCCL) XI at Coventry & North Warwickshire Cricket Club on Tuesday 9 August.
Both fixtures, which will take place during the school holidays, will form part of a wider day of family fun and community activity led by the Bears and the Warwickshire Cricket Board, including a girls and boys tournament, junior coaching and an opportunity to meet the Bears players.
“We’re thrilled to be returning to the heart of our county for these two games,” said Director of Cricket Paul Farbrace. “The games have been in the making for the last three years, but sadly Covid has counted against it happening.
“Thanks to the hard work from Andy Wyles at the Warwickshire Cricket Board, and to both leagues, we’re very excited to confirm the two matches. We’re committed to making both games a great success and hopefully turning them into annual events.
“Having spoken in detail with both leagues, we want our players to face the toughest test possible to support our Vitality Blast plans. The games also provide a great opportunity to take a closer look at talented players within the leagues who sit outside of our Academy and Performance Pathway. We won’t hesitate to take a closer look at any player who impresses us in these fixtures.”Paul Farbrace
Both fixtures are to start at 5.30pm and further details on entry will be released by Kenilworth Wardens CC and Coventry & North Warwickshire CC closer to the matches.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for our recreational game in Warwickshire,” said Wyles, Participation & Growth Manager at Warwickshire Cricket Board. “For 11 players from both the BDPCL and WCCL to take on some of the biggest names in domestic cricket is an opportunity that they will relish and never forget.
“The games will also develop a much tighter relationship between the Club and the recreational game. We want the fixtures to turn into prestigious events that can travel around many of the leading club grounds in the county each year.”
Warwickshire County Council Leader Cllr Seccombe said: “We warmly welcome the return of the Warwickshire’s first team to its historical roots. These matches, coming at a time when the Bears are reigning County Champions, will be memorable events, encouraging participation and interest in this great game.
“Warwickshire County Council highly values our renewed and strong relationship with Warwickshire CCC and we are looking forward to building on this in future years.”
Nick Archer, General Manager of BDPCL, said: “When the match was first suggested, two years ago, it was greeted with much enthusiasm by players and officials of BDPCL and it was disappointing but understandable that it couldn’t go ahead in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid.
“It is fantastic that the Bears, have found a way to make it work in 2022 and the match presents a great opportunity for club players to showcase their talent against a fully committed First Class outfit. BDPCL would also like to thank officials of Kenilworth Wardens CC for the use of their ground and facilities to enable the game to go ahead.”
Graham Seal, General Manager of Warwickshire County Cricket League, said: “The fixture versus the Bears is a very exciting opportunity for our players to compete against the best and it symbolises the partnership that has developed over the last three years between WCB, the county club and the largest amateur league in the county.
“We look forward to welcoming the Bears to Coventry and North Warwickshire CC, where they will receive a warm welcome and be challenged to a great game of cricket.”