Friday 16 May 2014 

ECB sends cricket ball from Edgbaston Stadium to edge of space

The ball above Edgbaston as it heads up to the edge of space

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has sent a cricket ball from Edgbaston Stadium to the edge of space for the first time ahead of the start of the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

The Birmingham Bears play their first game in the NatWest T20 Blast at Edgbaston on Friday 23 May and to coincide with today’s first matches in the competition, the ECB worked with a team of aeronautical engineers to launch an official match ball from Edgbaston, reaching a peak altitude of 110,000 feet; approximately three times the height at which a commercial airplane cruises.

The white ball, used in every game of this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition, was attached to a helium balloon and endured temperatures of –54oC and pressure of 9.9mbar at peak altitude. During its freefall, the ball reached speeds of up to 500 mph before a parachute deployed and it travelled safely back to earth, landing in Newbury, in near-perfect condition.

The ball’s journey to its peak altitude was captured on video, creating some incredible footage of the ball’s ascension to where no ball has ever been before.

David Collier, ECB Chief Executive, said: “Ahead of the launch of the NatWest T20 Blast season, we wanted to do something that would reflect the competition’s exciting brand of cricket and vibrant in-ground atmosphere.

“By sending a cricket ball to the edge of space, we’ve come up with an innovative idea which vividly illustrates our own plans to make this summer’s NatWest T20 Blast competition a truly memorable experience for cricket fans everywhere.”

Supporters can save £7 on tickets for the Birmingham Bears v Yorkshire Vikings by purchasing in advance at £15 for Adults (£22 on the gate) whilst Under 16 tickets are £5 at all times.

Additionally a Double Whammy deal is available for the Bears’ first two NatWest T20 Blast matches on Friday nights, priced at £25. To purchase tickets to watch the Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast, visit or call the Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 1902.

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