Covid 19 has for many been a devastating pandemic but the need and desire to return to some form of normality and be able to meet and gather with friends has become more important as the pandemic has unravelled.
The Government is hopeful that with the vaccination programme and monitor testing it wants to reduce all lockdown measures by June 21st but before that milestone the second test match at Edgbaston in being treated as a pilot scheme the first to see mass gathering of crowds at a single venue.
The pilot scheme is part of the second phase of programmes the government is conducting which is being monitored by the world leading Events Research Programme in the hope that this will pave the way for more events in outdoor sports stadiums.
Edgbaston will host the second test between England and New Zealand, the first ending in a draw at Lords.
“Cricket plays an important part in people’s lives; we cannot wait to welcome fans back to our stadium”
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive, ECB
Originally the pilot was to receive only 25% capacity but with support from the City of Birmingham and Council Leaders, the venue has been granted a capacity of 70% resulting in 18,000 being able to attend.
Fans will have to go through a set of protocols to be able to gain entry, providing proof of a negative COVID test result 24 hours before the game and through the NHS App their vaccination status. Unfortunately, children under 16 will not be permitted. In queues, face masks must be worn but removed once seated.
“It’s just amazing to see so many people gathered together, it’s been such a long time that it seems kind of weird”.
Alex Bloor, Roofing Director
The demand for tickets has been huge but Warwickshire Cricket Club has done its upmost to be loyal to its members and those who had tickets for previously cancelled events.
“People have been massively upbeat, you can see it in Birmingham around the Central Station and round the ground. Obviously, some are still nervous and you take extra precautions with social distancing and wearing of face masks but it’s just great to feel a bit of normality”.
Stuart Rooker, FD
Despite the upbeat nature of the day, unfortunately the result didn’t go England’s way with New Zealand running out easy victors the inflicting on England their first home test series defeat since 2014.
Although only a 2-match series with the game drawn at Lords, the victory captured by the Blackcaps by the 4th day underlined the gulf in performance and raised New Zealand to number 1 slot in the Test Side Rankings.
England amassed a respectable total of 303 in the first innings for New Zealand to take a 75-run innings lead only for England batsmen to capitulate in the 2nd innings, all out for 122, leaving New Zealand a processional target of 37 required for victory but finishing with a boundary competed their second innings of 41 for 2 on the fourth day.
“New Zealand have been world class, and although England look a shadow of themselves the fans have had a great time. “Beer Snakes” it’s been ages and despite the result it has given everyone a much-needed lift!
I’m just disappointed our clients couldn’t join us today due to the reduction in capacity numbers but we look forward to being with them next year”.
Simon Lamb, MD
As part of the pilot scheme Edgbaston will host the T20 Finals in September following review of the Edgbaston test.