Birmingham: The Edgbaston cricket stadium in England will be used as a coronavirus (COVID-19) testing station, it was announced by the Warwickshire County Cricket Club (WCCC).

Edgbaston is the home ground of Warwickshire county side. It said, “Warwickshire County Cricket Club has donated its Edgbaston Stadium to the Department of Health and Social Care to create a drive-through COVID-19 testing station, which will be used to regularly test NHS staff who are working in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.” 

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It added, “Beginning operations in the coming days, the NHS staff testing centre will be positioned within Edgbaston’s main on-site car park. NHS staff will drive in through the Edgbaston Road entrance, be tested while remaining in their vehicle and exit the grounds onto Pershore Road.”

Last year, Edgbaston hosted the England-Australia semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2019. The ground has hosted Tests, ODI and T20Is. It is one of the regular Test venues in England. This was the ground where West Indies legend Brian Lara hit a world record first-class score of 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994. Also, the famous tied World Cup match in 1999 between Australia and South Africa, was played here.

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Neil Snowball, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said, “With our county cricket programme and conference & events business closed until 29 May, our staff have been exploring various options which enable the club to keep supporting our local community during these difficult times, whether that be through making calls to our elderly members and ex players, volunteering and by offering Edgbaston Stadium for use in the wider civil contingency effort.

“Whilst it is a small part to play in the grand scheme of things, we are pleased that our stadium can be utilised to support the fantastic efforts being made by all of our NHS staff in response to the coronavirus crisis. We are also very grateful for the support that we have received in delivering this project from Patrizia and Homes England, our development partners.”