The stakes for Birmingham Bears meeting with Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston this Friday have been raised even higher with the teams contesting the new Norman Gifford Trophy.
Formerly captain of both Warwickshire CCC and Worcestershire CCC, spin bowler Norman Gifford enjoyed an incredible 29-year First Class career where he took 2,068 wickets, and won 15 Test Match and two ODI caps for England.
Taking on our local rivals in front of a big crowd, promises to be a fantastic occasionIan Bell
The trophy has been named in his honour following a social media campaign amongst supporters of both teams. It will be awarded to the winners of Friday night’s West Midlands Derby at Edgbaston and subsequently contested at each NatWest T20 Blast meeting between the Bears and Rapids.
Ian Bell, Captain of Birmingham Bears, said: “Taking on our local rivals in front of a big crowd, promises to be a fantastic occasion. It’s a game that I came to as a fan before turning professional and, having not played in one since 2009, I’m very excited and privileged to be leading the Bears out on Friday.
“Competing for the Norman Gifford Trophy is a fantastic initiative for both Clubs. Norman enjoyed a great career with both counties and won his ODI caps as a Bear. We’ll be doing all possible to ensure that the trophy stays at Edgbaston this season.”
Daryl Mitchell, Captain of Worcestershire Rapids: “With the resurgence of Worcestershire in T20 cricket, having a really strong side and reaching three quarter-finals in the last four years, it feels like the rivalry has become a lot more intense.
Norman is one of the few players to play for both sides and his record speaks for itselfDaryl Mitchelll
“It is a quite a friendly rivalry, with a lot of banter, but for everyone who works for the club or is a supporter, it is always the fixture we look out for and it is deserving of a trophy.
“Norman is one of the few players to play for both sides and his record speaks for itself – probably a player who would thrive in T20 given what a fantastic player he was.”
The Norman Gifford Trophy is the former Mackeson Trophy which Warwickshire and Worcestershire competed annually in List A matches in the 1960s. It will be presented to the winning captain at the close of play by Bears’ fan Paul Monk from Streetly who suggested the new name.
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