Celebrity Test Match Special

After weeks of meticulous preparation, the eyes and ears of a cricketing nation will be on the wicket at Sports Park Weetwood today.


The University is hosting the Test Match Special anniversary cricket match this afternoon – to celebrate 60 years of a radio programme that has been the voice of cricket.

The BBC has organised two mixed teams of cricketing greats and celebrities to play a T-20 match.

It is being screened on the BBC red button from 16.00 and there will be live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra – and watched by 1,500 spectators.

Since the BBC approached the University and asked if the match could be hosted at Weetwood, a team led by the Sports and Physical Activity Department from Campus and Commercial Services have been working hard to get the project up and running.

A temporary stand for spectators has been built, catering organised, security planned – and perhaps most important of all, the wicket expertly and lovingly prepared.

Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg, who manages our outdoor operations said: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. But this was a great opportunity that we could not turn down.

“Test Match Special is a broadcasting and cricketing institution and it is good to be part of their anniversary celebrations.”

Suzanne Glavin Head of Sport and Physical Activity said: “It allows us to showcase some fantastic sporting facilities that students and public can enjoy. We can also explain the work we are doing to develop top-flight cricketing talent, the names who’ll no doubt feature on future Test Match Special broadcasts.”

The University runs Leeds-Bradford MCCU (MCC Universities) – two elite development programmes for aspiring cricketers, and the men’s and women’s squads play on the county-standard pitch at Weetwood.

Run in partnership with Leeds Beckett and Bradford universities, the MCCU scheme allows students to receive elite cricket coaching and county-level experience with the aim of signing a professional contract by the time they graduate.

Both men and women cricketers who have passed through the scheme have gone on to play for England.

Suzanne added: “For those aspiring professional cricketers, we can offer an unrivalled level of training and match experience.

“Leeds-Bradford MCCU is one of six centres of excellence. Together, they are having an impact on cricket – across county cricket, one-fifth of all English qualified players attended an MCCU.”

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