HAMPTON-IN-ARDEN Village Cricket Club is set to make local sporting history when it hosts a “vicars versus imams” cricket match.
Birmingham Diocesan Clergy Cricket Club (BDCCC) will face a team of Muslim clerics calling themselves Birmingham Imams at Hampton Recreation Ground next Tuesday evening.
It is thought the match will be the first inter-faith event of its kind in the West Midlands and is designed to forge closer links between Christians and the Muslim community.
The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev David Urquhart, a keen sports fan, is planning to turn out for the C of E club, which plays competitive cricket in the Church Times League.
The game has been arranged by local GP Dr Rodger Charlton, a cricket enthusiast and chairman of the recently-formed Hampton club, which is based at the recreation ground in Shadowbrook Lane.
He said: “This match is a friendly and is an inter-faith venture which is all about building bridges between Christians and Muslims.
“It’ll be a 20-over a-side game, like the World Cup, but maybe not up to that standard of cricket. But that’s not what it’s about. I only hope the weather is kind to us.”
The Reverend Keith Claringbull, priest-in-charge at Hampton, who has helped organise the event, said: “When the match was first suggested, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza was raging and people were thinking about the plight of Muslims.
“The cricket game will bring people of different faiths together and I hope it will become an annual event.”
The local Hampton Manor conference centre and hotel is providing a trophy for the winners and laying on food for players and their families.
The match starts at 6pm on Tuesday and everyone is welcome. Admission is free.