Wardens set to bring Twenty20 to the area

Floodlit Twenty20 has been part of the English county cricket scene for ten years now, and in an innovative new venture Kenilworth Wardens are set to bring this thrilling spectacle to the local area for the first time, writes Paul Smith of Write Angle Media.

The Carrick Travel Invitation Floodlit T20, which takes place on consecutive evenings between August 6 and 9, is a four-way tournament featuring Warwickshire’s top clubs. Birmingham Premier League Leamington, Berkswell and Knowle & Dorridge join the Division One hosts in what is sure to be a keen contest for the Carrick Travel Cup, plus £500 prize money.

In addition to pitching the best local cricketing talent head-to-head, the competition creates a small piece of Warwickshire sporting history, as floodlit cricket moves away from the Bears’ Edgbaston home for the first time.

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Two matches will take place each evening, starting at 5.30pm and 7.50pm, as the local rivals complete a round-robin competition in the quest for a place in Thursday’s final. The matches, featuring coloured kit and white balls, will be accompanied by a DJ, while bar and catering facilities are available to spectators.

Berkswell are currently amongst the title chasers in the Birmingham Premier League, widely considered to be the toughest competition in the country outside county cricket.

Their skipper, former England Lions and Warwickshire batsman Dominic Ostler said: “Floodlit cricket is very different, the white ball goes a lot further, and is good fun.

“We have Ed Rainsford, who has played 40 ODIs for Zimbabwe, and is a good bowler who also hits a very long ball, and are not coming to Glasshouse Park to lose.”

The competition re-unites Ostler with his former county captain, Leamington’s Neil Smith, 17 years after the duo appeared together in English cricket’s first ever day-night match at Edgbaston in 1995, while the Spa club’s challenge will be led by Zimbabwean all-rounder Jason Young, plus Loughborough prospects Alex Phillips and Will Tavare.

Kenilworth Wardens will look to their Indian star, Sitanshu Kotak, to spin them to victory on home turf.

Martin Donald and Dan Vernon won Man of the Match awards during the club’s two recent Coventry Charity T20 Knock Out triumphs.

Carrick Travel has supported cricket at Kenilworth Wardens for some years, and MD Tina Nason was keen to get involved with the new competition from the outset.

She said: “Carrick Travel has branches across Warwickshire and the Cotswolds, and has always had strong sporting links through its specialist sports travel division.

“We hope that our association with this new floodlit competition builds on our reputation as a reliable, locally-based, independent travel agent.”