Warwickshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Stuart Cain comments on today’s announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the roadmap for lifting the national lockdown and subsequent restrictions.

“Today’s announcement gives much welcomed clarity on the way forward, both for cricket and Edgbaston’s conference business,” said Cain. 

“It means that limited crowds can start enjoying cricket from May with a full return in June.” 

“However, if people can shop at the Bullring and Alton Towers can accommodate thrill-seekers from April 12, why could we not stage spectator pilots at our LV= Insurance County Championship matches at Edgbaston at the same time? This would help the wider professional sports industry to be equipped for welcoming more spectators in the following months.

Stuart Cain

“In early to mid-June we could then work with Government to host increased capacity pilots at the LV= Insurance men’s Test matches between England and New Zealand, at Lord’s and Edgbaston, ahead of a full return a few weeks later.  It is a big leap to go from 25 per cent to 100 per cent capacity, without pilots in between, to make sure that sport is operationally ready for large crowds.

“Cricket is an open-air sport, and we have the technology, space and operational experience at Edgbaston to deliver a socially distanced experience. So why not get the venues match-fit before letting large scale crowds back?”

2021 Warwickshire Members

We are aware of the latest Government guidelines regarding live sporting events and we will very much be lobbying as a Club to be part of any further Spectator Pilot programmes in our 24,500-capacity venue, given our proven track record in delivering a successful pilot in 2020.

However, given the possibility of starting the 2021 season behind closed doors, the Club has protected our Members through a COVID-19 Membership Guarantee, which ensures that a proportionate refund of the Membership fee will be offered. The value and process for claiming any refund will be confirmed at the end of the 2021 season once we have clarity on the amount of cricket, if any, that will be played behind closed doors.

Similar to the 2020 season, Members will have the option to donate this proportionate amount to the Club and we are investing in further enhancing our live stream for the 2021 season to support fans watching the Bears from home.

For more details about Membership, call 0121 369 1994 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) or email tickets@edgbaston.com.

England v New Zealand LV= Insurance Test match purchasers

We remain hopeful of being able to accommodate a sizable crowd for the LV= Insurance Test match and we are working closely with the England & Wales Cricket Board and local and national Government to support this.

At present, all ticket holders do not need to take any action and have confidence that we have a Ticket Refund Guarantee, which protects against tickets being cancelled due to health and safety reasons.

We will be in touch with all ticket holders once we have clarification from the Government as to the exact number of spectators that we will be able to accommodate.

At present, we are unable to process any requests for refunds until the capacity has been confirmed.