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    ECB has initiated its first-ever tape ball tournament in the Core Cities
ECB has initiated its first-ever tape ball tournament in the Core Cities
ECB launches inaugural tape ball competition across Core Cities. Source: ECB

ECB has initiated its first-ever tape ball tournament in the Core Cities

A new national competition is being launched to showcase the best of tape ball cricket from diverse urban communities across the country. This game is full of thrills, spills, passion and drama.

In preparation for the upcoming international series against Pakistan, England's Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan, Heather Knight, and Sophie Ecclestone will launch the first-ever National Core Cities Tape Ball Competition. This competition is part of the ECB's Core Cities program, which aims to engage diverse communities in urban areas, break down barriers, and promote grassroots participation.

Tape ball is a variation of a game that originated in Pakistan and is now played worldwide, particularly within South Asian communities. The game involves taping a tennis ball to create swing and bounce variations during play. No protective equipment, such as helmets or pads, is required as the ball remains soft. The game can be played on any surface, making it widely accessible and popular.

The Core Cities Summit in November 2023 identified the casual format as a key area for potential growth of the game due to its accessible nature. The annual competition, the National Core Cities Tape Ball Competition, will now elevate its profile. Hosting duties will be shared among the Core Cities, welcoming more people into cricket.

Each of the Core Cities - Birmingham, Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds, Leicester, London (Middlesex, Essex and Surrey), Luton, Manchester, Sandwell, Slough and Nottingham - can have a women's and a men's team in two separate competitions. The first competition will be held at Bradford Park Avenue this weekend, with the aim of promoting inclusivity, fostering grassroots engagement, and identifying and nurturing talent.

The tournament will be launched at an event in Birmingham today. The event will be attended by England Women's, Men's, and Disability stars, including Heather Knight, Adil Rashid, Sophie Ecclestone, Dawid Malan, and Jamie Goodwin. The launch event will feature tape ball cricket, with kids from Chance To Shine trying it out and adult teams competing across three matches. Celebrity and professional players will be accompanied by local South Asian food and entertainment, making it a true festival.

The event also precedes the joint upcoming series between England Women and Men against Pakistan, which starts with the Women's T20I at Edgbaston on May 11, 2024.

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