Inaugural Unity Through Cricket tournament to be played at Edgbaston

Following on from a game of cricket in 2014 that brought together a visiting side from the Vatican – the St Peter’s XI – and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI, Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium is set to host a unique triangular competition of teams representing three faiths.

On Thursday 15 September St Peter’s XI, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI and Mount Cricket Club – a team of Muslim players from Batley – West Yorkshire will take part in the Unity Through Cricket tournament at Edgbaston.

The teams will arrive in Birmingham on the Wednesday and 15 September and take part in a series of community activities at Saltley Academy in Birmingham before returning to Edgbaston before training ahead of the tournament.

Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: “Cricket is fantastic for bringing together groups and crossing the boundaries of age, race, gender and faith and we are thrilled that Edgbaston can host this first Unity Through Cricket series triangular tournament.

“We’re working hard to provide even more opportunities for the local community to learn about the game and for recreational cricketers to play here at Edgbaston. Unity Through Cricket is one of several recreational cricket days that we are hosting this summer, with more than 100 players getting the opportunity to experience playing at one of the world’s leading international venues.”

The tournament at Edgbaston is part of a tour by the visiting St Peter’s XI who will play the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI at the home of Kent CCC in Canterbury on the preceding Tuesday. St Peter’s XI then play Mount CC at Yorkshire CCC’s home of Headingley on Monday 19 September before returning to the Vatican.

The touring Vatican side is made up of an international team of Catholic priests and seminarians who are studying and working in Rome. They belong to St Peter’s Cricket Club, established in 2013, an initiative of the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy.

The Anglican team is being recruited via the Church Times, one of the sponsors of the matches with trials to take place at the end of this month. The Church Times has organised clergy cricket in the UK since 1951 and The Archbishop of Canterbury is patron of the team.

Mount Cricket Club was founded in 1976. Since 2013, it has embarked on an ambitious plan to widen cricket participation, especially among young people, and involve itself with community activities. Last autumn, it sent a team to Rome to play the Vatican side, losing narrowly in the last over.

Entry to the Unity Through Cricket triangular tournament at Edgbaston will be completely free and further details on timings will be released in due course.

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