England and Warwickshire great Gladstone Small has recalled memories of playing international cricket at Edgbaston as he looks forward to the visit of the West Indies next summer.
The Windies play a three-match series against Ben Stokes’ men next July that culminates with a potentially crucial third and final Test at Edgbaston from Friday 26 to Tuesday 30 July.
Demand has been high with Days One and Two already sold out and less than 500 tickets are now left for Day Three – with discounted Early Bird tickets available, if purchased before midnight on 19 December.
Small took 113 wickets across 17 Tests and 53 ODIs for England, including 4/31 against the West Indies at Edgbaston in May 1988 when he claimed the scalps of Gordon Greenidge and the great Viv Richards.
“The reason why England love playing at Edgbaston is because even though you have 25,000 supporters here and a brilliant atmosphere, it remains quite intimate.
“So you can be out there in the middle of the pitch and in a full crowd you can almost pick out individual faces because you’re close to the stands.
“The fans are close to you and it’s a hell of an atmospheric place to play – and thankfully the developments that the ground has undergone since I left more than 20 years ago haven’t changed it. Edgbaston has kept its intimacy.
“The players get the crowd going and the Edgbaston crowd always responds. It’s an incredible place to play and watch cricket.”
Small played his one and only Test match at Edgbaston in July 1990 in what was Richard Hadlee’s final Test appearance for New Zealand.
He took just one wicket in the 114-run win but was in line for a rare half-century with the bat in the first innings when last man Devon Malcolm came out to join him in the middle.
“I was having a good knock, on 44 not out, when big Devon Malcolm came to join me,” he recalled. “Batting wasn’t his forte, so I said ‘look Devon just four balls to see out then I’ve got a chance of reaching my 50’.
“A minute later, Devon played down Bakerloo, the ball went down Waterloo and his off stump was gone cartwheeling down towards the boundary!
“But it was fun playing at Edgbaston. Anyone in the crowd I heard shout “eh, Gladys” I knew straight away they were a Warwickshire fan because that’s what a lot of the regulars used to call me. They just shortened Gladstone to Gladys.
“You can hear the fans and have some fun with them. I love coming to watch cricket here. Edgbaston isn’t just a cricket club, it’s an institution.”
Over 9,000 tickets sold for Pakistan Women IT20
Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 9,000 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. Tickets available from only £15, before the 12 March Early Bird deadline.