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Pilot scheme for fans’ return to stadia extended

Cricket fans will be able to enjoy more live action this season after a pilot programme to get spectators safely back into stadia was deemed a success.

About 1,000 members were allowed in to watch a friendly at The Kia Oval in London between Surrey CCC and Middlesex CCC.

The trial has now been extended to Surrey’s Bob Willis Trophy home match against Middlesex on August 1-2.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Edgbaston Stadium has secured an enhanced role in the Government’s pilot programme for the return of spectators at live sporting events following approval from the Club’s Safety Advisory Group.

This week’s friendly fixture at Edgbaston between Warwickshire and Worcestershire had already been confirmed as part of the programme to support the safe return of spectators to live sporting events.

However, Warwickshire Members can now also apply to attend the first two days of Warwickshire’s opening match in the Bob Willis Trophy versus Northamptonshire on August 1-2.

Craig Flindall, chief operating officer at Warwickshire CCC, said:

We’re delighted that Warwickshire CCC and Edgbaston are again at the forefront of innovation and that we can play a part in securing the safe return of spectators to sporting events across the country. Our thanks go to Birmingham City Council, the England & Wales Cricket Board and the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport for the support in taking forward this pilot programme at Edgbaston.

It’s fantastic for us to have the opportunity to build on tomorrow’s spectator pilot match day by extending it to the opening two days of the county season, which allows Warwickshire Members to enjoy a weekend of watching cricket at Edgbaston.

In partnership with Birmingham City Council and our wider city stakeholders, we have a proven track record and have vast experience of delivering some of the biggest sporting events that have taken place in the city in recent years. Whilst we are operating at a reduced capacity, these three match dates are of equal importance to those previous events.

Horse racing will also welcome fans back on Saturday when 5,000 spectators will be admitted to Goodwoodracecourse.

Image courtesy of Surrey CCC.