A Bears XI beat a ‘Best of Birmingham & District Cricket League’ side in a friendly fixture on Monday (5 June) as the Bears Roadshow arrived in Kenilworth.

But the occasion will most be remembered for the smiles on the faces of dozens of children who enjoyed some fun coaching sessions and grabbed selfies and autographs from their cricketing heroes.

The Bears Roadshow, back for a second year, is taking place at the start of the new Vitality Blast season, with the Bears hosting seven match days at Edgbaston this summer. Under 5s go free to all games, while five to 15-year-olds are only £5.

On the field, Will Rhodes top scored with a nonchalant 70 from 40 balls – some vehicles in Kenilworth Wardens’ car park feeling the full force of the Club Captain’s power hitting – while Jacob Bethell reached 50 in just 17 balls.

Hassan Ali was in the Bears attack as he continued his recovery from an ankle injury, while the spin of Hamza Shaikh yielded 3/2 off just seven deliveries. 

Top scorer in the Birmingham League representative side’s response was Harborne’s Swapnil Gugale who hit 42 from 22 balls.

Kenilworth Wardens Chair Anthony Pidgeon thanked Warwickshire for taking the Club out into the community and helping to showcase the talent in local leagues.

He said: “It was a fantastic day. More than 300 people attended, including around 100 children, and they were amazed to have the likes of Sam Hain and Glenn Maxwell joining them in the nets and passing on some tips. Some were a bit star-struck!

“It’s great that the Club is doing all it can to promote grassroots cricket across the region. Jacob Bethell is a Kenilworth Wardens player and Dan Mousley came through the juniors here – and events like this may well inspire the next generation of Bears players.”

Bears First Team Coach Mark Robinson added: “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.”

The second Bears Roadshow fixture will take place on 1 August as the Bears face a side featuring top performing Warwickshire County Cricket League players at Sutton Coldfield CC. Gates will open at 4pm ahead of a 5.30pm start.

£15 tickets for home quarter-final

Bears have secured a home Vitality Blast quarter-final which will be on Thursday 6 July, with adult tickets only £15.

Tickets ware available online at tickets.edgbaston.com or on the day via the Ticket Office. Members and Season Pass holders can attend for free by scanning their card at the gate.

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