Mike Whitby meets England cricket team

By on 08/08/2011 in News

England opener Alastair Cook keeps wicket to Mike Whitby

Birmingham City Council's Leader, Mike Whitby, today met members of both the England's Men's and Women's cricket teams as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's first 'Cricket in the City' event.

England's Third Test Match with India at Edgbaston is expected to generate £5.5 million for Birmingham's economy, according to figures released by Marketing Birmingham, the city's strategic marketing partnership.

Speaking from the family event on Monday and ahead of the the start of the prestigious five-day test match on Wednesday (10 August), Mike Whitby said:

“The £5.5 million economic boost the city is expected to receive goes to show how powerful sporting events can be in supporting our economy, and raising the city’s international profile.

“Birmingham's reputation as the UK’s sporting city has been further strengthened thanks to investment in key sporting venues like Edgbaston. The new stadium looks spectacular – and will be a major asset for the city and, in turn, will continue to play an important role in driving our visitor economy, which has already seen a strong growth in recent years.

“The £32 million redevelopment of Edgbaston, together with other high profile ventures including the £600million transformation of New Street Station and construction of an iconic £188 million Library of Birmingham, will help to attract even more visitors and ensure that the city becomes one of Europe's leading tourist destinations.”

The prestigious five-day match with India, the current World Champions and leading Test nation, will be the first Test to be played at the city's new, expanded Edgbaston Stadium following its £32 million redevelopment.

The venue is expected to welcome up to 25,000 national and overseas fans each day, who will witness Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar take on local hero Ian Bell.

Birmingham City Council contributed a £20 million loan to Warwickshire County Cricket Club to enable the redevelopment of the historic Edgbaston ground, which has regularly used as a test match venue by England since 1902.

The £32m redevelopment of Edgbaston features a brand new Pavilion End, floodlights and improved conference facilities, with increased capacity from 21,000 to 25,000.

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