The Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

By Chandrashekar Bhat

WHEN Pakistan and England take the field at Edgbaston in the third ODI of their bilateral series on July 13, the Warwickshire County Cricket Club intends to make it an occasion to celebrate the Pakistan culture.

Its CEO Stuart Cain said it will be an opportunity to celebrate the UK’s integration and cultural diversity in Birmingham, a city known for its pluralistic outlook.

Appreciating the Pakistan community’s support to cricket, Cain said it is his “personal responsibility to make sure that it “enjoys the match to the fullest” as the event has already been sold out.

A working group consisting of local councillors and the Asian business community has been set up to chalk out plans to provide the “right environment” for cricket enthusiasts at the venue, he told Geo News.

“I think if things continue the way they are right now and we get past June 21 and end up with a full crowd, then that will be a brilliant day for cricket,” Cain said referring to uncertainties over complete lifting of restrictions later this month.

The Warwickshire Cricket Board and the Chance to Shine Street hosted an indoor league for youngsters at the Edgbaston Cricket Centre during the recent Ramadan month to give exposure to aspiring players.

Pakistan will play three ODIs and as many T20I matches against England from July 8-20.

However, cricket lovers back in Pakistan will not be able to watch the series live as the federal government has rejected permission for local broadcasters to have a licensing agreement with India’s Star TV network which has the telecast rights in south Asia.

Pakistan’s information and broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry had said recently that his country cannot do business with India until New Delhi restores the special status of Kashmir.

Chaudhry, however, said that Pakistan would approach the England Cricket Board seeking an alternative arrangement to telecast the series in Pakistan.