Bears visit Kenilworth Wardens to prepare for T20 roadshow

Tuesday evening T20 game at Glasshouse Lane next month

Kenilworth Wardens' Mike Sorrell (groundsman), Anthony Pigeon (Chair) and Malcolm Whitehall
Kenilworth Wardens' Mike Sorrell (groundsman), Anthony Pigeon (Chair) and Malcolm Whitehall

Warwickshire County Cricket Club’s plans for the Bears Roadshow games recently took a step closer with visits to Kenilworth Wardens Cricket Club and Coventry & North Warwickshire Cricket Club ahead of the two fixtures that are being played against representative teams from the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League (BDPCL) and the Warwickshire County Cricket League (WCCL).

With the games being played on Tuesday, 31 May and Tuesday, 9 August respectively, Paul Farbrace and fellow staff from the Bears and Warwickshire Cricket Board visited both clubs to finalise match plans.

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Farbrace was then later joined at Kenilworth Wardens CC by Bears Chief Executive Stuart Cain and Club legend Ian Bell for a question-and-answer session with members and supporters that was hosted by Club Journalist Brian Halford.

Q&A session with Warwickshire and England legend Ian Bell

“The club game is absolutely thriving in Warwickshire and we want to do all we can to support this growth,” said Paul Farbrace. “I’ve been fortunate to play at both Kenilworth Wardens and Coventry & North Warwickshire grounds in my playing career and they are fantastic venues to mark these Bears Roadshow games.

“We know that there is an incredibly passionate supporter base in the wider county and we hope that these games can be the start of something special with annual fixtures that travel around different parts of the county.”

BDPCL and WCCL will finalise the representative teams over the coming weeks with recreational cricketers from across both leagues having the opportunity to bid for selection with strong performances in the opening rounds of fixtures.

Andy Wyles, Participation & Growth Manager at Warwickshire Cricket Board, said: “There’s always strong representation from the Bears squad amongst our local clubs in the recreational game every Saturday. However, the opportunity to join fellow league players by taking on a Bears XI is a completely different proposition.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our local club cricketers to take on some world-renowned players and it’s great to play these games at local clubs who are committed to growing the game at every level. Both games will be very special occasions and we’re looking forward to getting them underway.”

Play will get underway at Kenilworth Wardens for BDPCL versus the Bears on 31 May at 5.30pm with the fixture versus WCCL starting at the earlier time of 4.30pm on 9 August.

Anthony Pigeon, Chair of Kenilworth Wardens CC, said: “All of us at Kenilworth Wardens are really excited to host the Bears v Birmingham League XI. It’s a fantastic opportunity for supporters from the local area to come along and watch some great cricket on their doorstep. Furthermore, we’re committed to making it easy for under 16s and families to attend. The Club will ensure that everyone will be well looked after with plenty of food and drink choices.”

Dave Robinson, Chair of Coventry & North Warwickshire CC, said: “The plan to develop a roadshow around the county by our County Cricket Club is a fantastic idea. I am sure it will stimulate great public interest around Warwickshire and bring back great memories to those who remember watching the team play at different grounds in the past. We at CNW are really excited about the game and I am sure the people of Coventry will support the game fully.”

Entry for both matches will be £5 for adults and free for under 16s. Warwickshire Members can also secure free entry on production of a membership card, but do have the option to donate, with all revenues being donated to the host clubs.