CRICKET - Warwickshire to play three games in Rugby - The Leamington Observer

CRICKET - Warwickshire to play three games in Rugby

Aaron Sutcliffe 6th Mar, 2024 Updated: 6th Mar, 2024   0

WARWICKSHIRE CCC is taking professional cricket into the community for the first time in almost a decade after agreeing to play three matches in Rugby this summer.

The Metro Bank One Day Cup games against Surrey (August 2), Yorkshire (August 11) and Nottinghamshire (August 14) will all take place at Rugby School.

Rugby School has hosted Warwickshire previously but not since 2015 when the Bears won a One Day Cup clash against Sussex.

Warwickshire performance director, Gavin Larsen, said: “We love playing at Edgbaston, obviously, but this is an amazing opportunity to take the Bears closer to members and supporters in Warwickshire.

“I was at Neath last season to watch the Bears take on Glamorgan and the vibe at the game was tremendous.

“I’m sure the fans and local community will create an equally great atmosphere at Rugby. It’s school summer holidays so hopefully there will be lots of junior Bears there to cheer the guys on.

“The facilities at Rugby School are superb and, importantly, the pitch and outfield will be at a standard required for professional cricket.”

Rugby School headteacher, Gareth Parker-Jones, added: “We are delighted to be partnered with Warwickshire and excited to host these three matches.

“Cricket has been played on this same ground since the early 1800s and our director of cricket, Michael Powell, enjoyed a career spanning more than 17 years with Warwickshire, representing the county in more than 290 matches.

“It’s great for the local community to have top level cricket on their doorstep while also bringing visitors from further afield to help boost the town’s economy – a real win-win.”

Edgbaston head of sports turf Gary Barwell will work with the grounds team at Rugby in the weeks leading up to the games to help prepare the wickets.

The plans include fun cricket sessions for children during the interval, mascots and Guards of Honour involving local youngsters, and off-field activities.

And the ground has a 3,000-capacity for what organisers intend to be a community festival of cricket to welcome the Bears on tour.

The club also wants to use the partnership to create a cricketing legacy in the town and inspire the next generation of players through free coaching sessions at leisure and youth centres delivered through the junior All Stars scheme.

Warwickshire has played at numerous outgrounds over the years including Nuneaton, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon and several clubs in Coventry.

The club’s chief executive, Stuart Cain, added: “Members have long asked us to consider playing some games at an out-ground, ideally in the heart of Warwickshire.

“We looked at a number of clubs and Rugby School could provide the wicket, pavilion, catering and seating requirements needed to stage a professional game.

“We’re looking forward to the occasions; I hope it’ll ignite people’s passion for county cricket and bring new members of the community to the game.

“It’s important we use this as a way of demonstrating that cricket is a sport that’s open and accessible to all.”

Warwickshire’s last visit to Rugby – on August 17 in 2015 – saw Bears fans treated to a century by Will Porterfield and three wickets for Olly Hannon-Dalby as a side led by Varun Chopra claimed a four-wicket One Day Cup win.

Warwickshire members will be able to claim their tickets for the games in advance with any remaining tickets going on general sale. Doors will open at 10am and close at 8pm.

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