The Birmingham Bears have joined forces with two Midlands-based football freestylers to showcase the skill and talent of their players by taking part in a series of football-meets-cricket trick-shot challenges.

Ahead of the Bears’ first home Vitality Blast fixture of the season on Friday against Lancashire Lightning, Will Rhodes, Carlos Brathwaite and Adam Hose teamed up with two of social media’s most popular freestylers, Wolverhampton’s Ewan Baggott (@EABSkills) and Kieran Brown (@KieranDB), to test two key Twenty20 skillsets – their batting power, and fielding accuracy – in a range of challenges at Edgbaston Stadium.

Influencers Ewan and Kieran have spent the last decade creating viral clips on social media, and have racked up millions of views on Instagram and YouTube. Known for their incredible technique and tricks, the challenges they devised featured typical cricket drills with a freestyle twist.

Fielding drills became Clay Pigeon-style target practice, with Bears players aiming at footballs in mid-air; the bowling machine was fed by freestyler tricks for range-hitting, and Carlos Brathwaite practised his big-hitting from inside Edgbaston’s famous Hollies Stand. Not to be outdone, Ewan and Kieran demonstrated their own outrageous  ability, showing off control and touches with cricket balls that most people could only dream of doing with a football.

The Bears return to Edgbaston for their first home game of this season’s Vitality Blast in a mouth-watering clash against Lancashire Lightning. With England stars Chris Woakes and Olly Stone available for the Bears, and Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone due to turn out for the Lightning, fans can expect fireworks and dynamic skills galore. A small number of tickets are still available for the game, and can be purchased online.

“The boys always love the chance to show off our skills so we loved the challenges that Ewan and Kieran set us. We’re really excited to get back to Edgbaston after a run of away games. There’s a great atmosphere in the ground for these Blast games, and hopefully we’ll entertain the home fans with a few more skills!”

Will Rhodes

Ewan Baggott, football freestyler and influencer, said: “A lot of people don’t realise how skilful cricketers are. I’ve been lucky to work with a number of top athletes, and the ability of the Bears players is right up there with the best I’ve seen.”

Birmingham Bears play seven home games at Edgbaston between Friday 18 June and Sunday 18 July. Under-16s go FREE to all games, and Vitality Blast Season Passes are still available, entitling the holder to entry to all home Bears T20 group games, and a free guest pass to use at any home game, excluding the Worcestershire Rapids fixture.