Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium has been allocated one of its best programmes of major match cricket for the period covering 2020 to 2024 in addition to being named as a host venue for the England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new Twenty20 competition.
Edgbaston, which has hosted international cricket since 1902 and staged its 50th Test match last summer, has been awarded a Test match in four of the five scheduled years, including a fixture in the all-important Ashes series of 2023. In total, the venue will host 31 days of major match cricket over the five-year period, including three One-Day Internationals and three International T20s whilst also being awarded Finals Day of the existing Vitality Blast for the five-year period.
We must also recognise the thousands of supporters who come to Birmingham year after year and create the unique Edgbaston atmosphere that is celebrated throughout the game and brings out the very best in the players who have the opportunity to perform at ‘Fortress Edgbaston’.Neil Snowball
Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “This award of high profile matches is excellent news for everyone connected with Edgbaston Stadium and it provides us with a solid platform on which we can build a strong and sustainable financial future for Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
“The club has made a significant investment into the stadium over the last decade and we have some of the best facilities in world cricket along with the largest capacity outside of London. When you combine that with our proven ability to sell out the stadium for high profile matches, this enabled us to put forward a compelling case to the ECB to host regular Test Matches, a regular supply of limited over internationals and to continue as the home of the T20 Blast Finals Day over this five-year period.
“This award of matches is also recognition of the tremendous effort that all of our staff have made over recent years to make sure that every visitor to Edgbaston Stadium receives a warm and friendly welcome, which has consistently been reflected in our customer experience scores.
“We must also recognise the thousands of supporters who come to Birmingham year after year and create the unique Edgbaston atmosphere that is celebrated throughout the game and brings out the very best in the players who have the opportunity to perform at ‘Fortress Edgbaston’.”
In addition to the 31-day programme of major match cricket, Edgbaston will host one of the eight teams in the ECB’s new T20 competition which launches in 2020.
Snowball added: “We’ve made huge progress attracting more families and in developing our T20 offering at Edgbaston in recent years, which has seen attendances treble and our match day experience scores increase substantially.
“Birmingham has a very young and diverse population so to have the opportunity to host a team in this exciting new competition is a fantastic opportunity to build on this work and to attract even more youngsters to cricket.”
In addition to the matches awarded between 2020 and 2024, cricket fans have an exciting programme of fixtures to enjoy over the next two summers, including a Test against India, International T20 against Australia and Vitality Blast Finals Day in 2018. Next summer the venue hosts five games in the ICC Cricket World Cup, an Ashes Test between England and Australia and Vitality Blast Finals Day.
Birmingham hosting a team in the new T20 competition also presents a fantastic opportunity to further develop the sport in the city. We know that the club has made huge strides in attracting more people to its T20 games, particularly families, and we look forward to following the development of this new competition in the city and across the region.Cllr Ian Ward
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’re very proud of Edgbaston for continuing to bring the biggest matches in cricket to our great sporting city, and for the work that the team has done in transforming the ground into one of the finest cricket venues in the world.
“We’re thrilled that it has again been awarded such a strong allocation of fixtures, in particular the right to host an Ashes Test, which will put Birmingham at the centre of the sporting world in 2023 and bring great benefits to our local economy.
“Birmingham hosting a team in the new T20 competition also presents a fantastic opportunity to further develop the sport in the city. We know that the club has made huge strides in attracting more people to its T20 games, particularly families, and we look forward to following the development of this new competition in the city and across the region.”
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing & Communications at Visit Birmingham, said: “International cricket at a packed Edgbaston Stadium is one of Birmingham’s iconic summer images and has played a part in the city welcoming a 17% increase in domestic tourists and a 52% rise in overseas guests in the last five years.
“With the 2022 Commonwealth Games recently awarded to Birmingham, these latest fixtures at Edgbaston Stadium are another tremendous endorsement of the region’s ability to successfully deliver global sporting events.”