Kenilworth Wardens hosting Warwickshire Bears v Birmingham Premier League XI

Warwickshire supremo Paul Farbrace has identified Tuesday’s T20 clash between the Bears and a Birmingham Premier League XI at Kenilworth Wardens as a huge opportunity for everyone involved, writes Paul Smith (Stumped4words).

Ali Zaryab is one of three Kenilworth Wardens players in the Birmingham Premier League XI squad to play Warwickshire Bears  Picture by Paul Devine
Ali Zaryab is one of three Kenilworth Wardens players in the Birmingham Premier League XI squad to play Warwickshire Bears Picture by Paul Devine

Farbrace expects to take a strong side to Glasshouse Park for the 5.30pm start.

“We will be fielding a number of first team and academy players while all the professional staff will be there mixing in on the day,” he confirmed.

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“Our coaches all watch league cricket when they get chance and this is an opportunity for us to see more of the best players in the local clubs.

“Hopefully we see more of players who we have previously come across and maybe build some links with some that we haven’t.”

The Bears also believe this match and their subsequent visit to Coventry & North Warwickshire will help develop ever-stronger links with the club cricket scene in the county.

The whole squad will be present to provide photo opportunities and some will also participate in coaching sessions with Wardens’ junior teams beforehand.

“We really care about club cricket and this is our chance to show that we’re not just talking a good game but are out there supporting the club game as much as we can,” he added.

“Our players are encouraged to play in the leagues and we see them as great building grounds for talent. We want to work as closely as possible with the clubs and these games are a good way of doing that."

The Birmingham League XI will include Harry Johnson, who already has two hundreds this season, plus another Glasshouse Park batting favourite Ali Zaryab, who has made a big impression during his two seasons as Wardens’ professional.

In addition, the league’s leading seam bowler over the last two seasons, Tommy Rex, will play against opponents for whom he has played 2nd XI cricket in recent times.

Entry to Glasshouse Park costs £5, payable by card only, with Warwickshire members free, plentiful car parking is available and food and drink outlets open.

Squad: Neil Pinner (Kidderminster), Ateeq Javid (Berkswell), Jayden Levitt (Bromsgrove), Ali Zaryab (Wardens), Harry Johnson (Wardens), Ollie Currill (Leamington), Phil Harris (Barnards Green), Amrinder Brar (Barnt Green), Gurinder Singh (Smethwick), Jordan Bulpitt (Walsall), Yasir Ali (Smethwick), Tommy Rex (Wardens).