Warwickshire chief executive Neil Snowball has saluted an “amazing” achievement by Pakistan after they won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
Pakistan supplied the tournament with a rousing climax when they defeated arch-rivals India in the final. That completed a stunning revival for Mickey Arthur’s side which had lost heavily to India in their first group match, in front of a full-house at Edgbaston.
What Pakistan have achieved is quite incredibleNeil Snowball
That match, on June 4, was one of five Champions Trophy games hosted by Edgbaston Stadium, three of which attracted new record crowds for ODIs at the ground.
And while offering congratulations to Pakistan, Snowball also expressed a lot of pride in his club’s role as a tournament venue – which has met with immensely positive feedback from all quarters.
“What Pakistan have achieved is quite incredible,” said Snowball. “When you consider that they can’t play home games in Pakistan at the moment, have no real domestic structure to draw from and are based in UAE, with all the complications that entails, for them to come to England and win a major global tournament is a phenomenal effort.
“At Warwickshire we had the pleasure of hosting them for two warm-up games and then two group games and we know that they were very happy to be based in Birmingham. They also told us how much they enjoyed playing the 2016 Test match here, even though they lost on the final day, and were very happy to be back again before and during the ICC Champions Trophy.
“We love the fact that India already regard Edgbaston as their home from home and it would appear that Pakistan do as well now. We enjoy a great rapport with the many South Asian cricket-lovers in and around Birmingham and are always delighted to welcome them to Edgbaston whether it be for international or domestic cricket.”
Edgbaston’s record attendance for an ODI was raised three times during the Champions Trophy as the India v Pakistan group match attracted 24,156 and England v Australia 24,227 before the India v Bangladesh semi-final attracted 24,340 which was also the highest attendance for any match in the tournament, including the final at The Oval on Sunday.
“During the last three weeks Edgbaston has cemented its place among the best international venues in world cricket,” Snowball said. “From all five games the feedback we had from spectators, broadcasters, the media and the teams was quite overwhelming.
It’s also very gratifying to get such positive feedback from the teams with all countries commenting on the high quality of the practice facilities.Neil Snowball
“We have a brilliant operational team and when you think of the heightened security threat surrounding the games, for everything to go so smoothly is a huge tribute to my team at Edgbaston and to the excellent advice and support we always get from West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council
“Spectator feedback was excellent with average ratings of the match atmosphere of 9.3 out of ten for the India v Pakistan game and 9.2 for both England v Australia and South Africa v Pakistan.
“It’s also very gratifying to get such positive feedback from the teams with all countries commenting on the high quality of the practice facilities. Both Australia, who didn’t have a great tournament, and Pakistan, who did, were enormously complimentary, not least about the support from our cricket operations manager Keith Cook, whose experience, knowledge and willingness to help is appreciated worldwide and a tremendous asset to this club.”