The newly-named Birmingham Bears can help bring the local communities together, says Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council:
The Birmingham Bears t20 team is an incredibly exciting proposition that can unite sports fans across the city on Friday evenings next summer... I’m looking forward to seeing people get behind the Bears and hopefully roar them on to a Finals Day at Edgbaston in August.
Edgbaston is currently the home of the NatWest t20 Blast Finals Day for the next three summers, with the event scheduled to be staged on the Birmingham Bears home-turf in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham added:
Birmingham has a reputation for hosting some of the most compelling tournaments in sport... About a quarter of our visitors come here because they are attending or participating in a sports event... The new t20 matches will provide another opportunity to showcase both the revamped stadium and the city as a whole.
After the announcement that Warwickshire County Cricket Club's t20 side will be known as the Birmingham Bears for next years t20 Blast tournament, Chief Executive Colin Povey, says the club are looking to entice a wider audience:
Birmingham and Edgbaston has been the Club’s home since 1886 and we believe that adopting the Birmingham Bears name for the NatWest t20 Blast presents a great opportunity for us to engage even more closely with fans living and working at the heart of the City
He was also keen to stress though, that the club would not be losing its identity, going on to say that:
Despite our t20 name change, we will continue to maintain the proud history of the Club and play under the Warwickshire banner in the other two more traditional formats.
The newly-named Bears will open their campaign at home to Yorkshire Vikings on Friday 23 May 2014.
Warwickshire County Cricket Club have signed 21-year-old batsmen Freddie Coleman on a Summer contract following his graduation from the Club’s Academy ranks.
Freddie, who is also on a retainer contract with Cricket Scotland, is currently studying at Oxford Brooks University and joined the Bears set-up five years ago following a trial with the Club.
“We’ve got a close relationship with Cricket Scotland and they suggested that we take a closer look at Freddie because he has many of the attributes to achieve success at the top level; ability, temperament, good team man and he’s prepared to work very hard."
– Dougie Brown, Director of Cricket at Warwickshire CCC