Birmingham came to life with a celebration of tape ball cricket and South Asian culture to mark the build-up to next month's England v Pakistan IT20s at Edgbaston.

England stars Heather Knight, Adil Rashid and Dawid Malan took part in the showcase tape ball cricket match alongside women’s cricket fans and TV celebrities.

The eagerly anticipated Men’s and Women’s series between England and Pakistan gets underway at Edgbaston on Saturday 11 May when England Women take on Pakistan Women before the men go head-to-head on Saturday 25 May.

Over 11,000 tickets have been sold for the Women’s fixture with just under three weeks to go, with tickets available from just £17 to see Knight’s side in action against an in-form Pakistan team.

General admission tickets for the Men’s fixture have sold out, but a small number of Premium Tickets on our Seat Unique Terrace and Hospitality from official provider Keith Prowse are still available.

A former gas works in Digbeth formed the unique venue for the tape ball and South Asian culture spectacular.

Stars from the England Men’s, Women’s and Physical Disability teams played alongside celebrities from the media and entertainment world, grassroots tape ball players, and children from Warwickshire Cricket Foundation’s local Chance To Shine programmes.

They were treated to vibrant Bhangra music, authentic South Asian cuisine and a local DJ, bringing to life the intensity and spectacle of the stadium experience this summer.

Heather Knight, Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan and Jamie Goodwin showed off their tape ball skills alongside guests including women’s cricket fans and TV personalities Kate Lawler and Shazia Mirza, TV stars Kai Fagan and Jasmine Boatswain, and England women’s rugby player Heather Fisher, in a celebrity invitational match.

Heather Knight, England Women’s Captain said: “It’s massively important to us as players that entry into the game is as inclusive and accessible as possible, and tape ball is a fantastic way of opening up cricket to a wider audience of kids and adults alike who traditionally might not have had the chance to play cricket.

“The event showed just how special creating moments like this are for the local community and we absolutely loved being a part of it, you could feel the energy and excitement ahead of the upcoming series.

“This summer is going to be next level, especially with Pakistan coming over and the electric atmosphere both theirs and our fans will create at Edgbaston.

“I can’t wait to get down to Edgbaston for our first match next month and kick off the summer of cricket on home soil.”

Tape ball cricket started on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan, in the 1960s and has been played by millions of people across the world. It is an ever-growing casual form of the game played predominately by South Asian communities in England and Wales, with an estimated 20,000 players taking part recreationally at present.

It is an integral part of Pakistani and South Asian cricket culture, using a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape, providing a thrilling, fast-paced experience, not reliant on a traditional cricket setting or protective gear; embodying the inclusive spirit of the sport.

Kate Lawler, TV personality and women’s cricket fan added: “I’ve always loved cricket because of my dad and we’ve been to so many games together. It’s a fantastic day out. I’m really excited about watching England Women play this summer, they were incredible last year and I have no doubt they’ll take it to the next level this year.

“It’s been amazing attending this event in Birmingham, celebrating tape ball. I had never heard of it, but from watching it first-hand I love how accessible it is and how so many different people come together to play it – that’s really special. It’s got me super excited ahead of the summer of cricket and I’ll be cheering on the girls for sure.”

The event also highlighted the work the ECB and its Core Cities programme has undertaken to launch a new National Core Cities Tape Ball Cricket Competition across the country.

The new tape ball competition is designed to extend the reach and accessibility of casual cricket to more communities, promote informal styles of play in non-traditional environments and embrace diverse formats of the game to grow the sport.

Sabah Hamed, the ECB’s Diverse Communities Volunteer Manager, added: “We want to ensure access to playing cricket is possible no matter where you’re from or what facilities are around you and tape ball cricket is a vital format of the game in helping reach communities in key cities across the country.

“The launch of the new National Core Cities Tape Ball Competition is incredibly exciting and part of the ECB’s commitment to growing diversity and inclusivity throughout cricket. We hope the event has helped inspire some of the next generation to give cricket a try or come down to watch an England v Pakistan match to see what it’s all about.”

Experience next level international sport at Edgbaston this summer. Secure your seats online at

Over 13,000 sold for Women’s IT20 vs Pakistan

Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 13,000 tickets have already been sold.

With the Men’s IT20 already sold out, this is your last chance to see Pakistan at Edgbaston next summer and tickets are available from only £17, with under 16s £5.