Local key worker heroes honoured by England stars ahead of first #raisethebat Test
Ahead of the start of the first #raisethebat Test against the West Indies two members of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club and Edgbaston family were among those recognised for their response to the COVID-19 outbreak by the England Men’s Test team.
Mohammed Banaris, who works on-site at Edgbaston as Operations Manager for Club partners G4S and has led the COVID-19 testing centre on the stadium car park, and Dr Nasir Ali, Event Doctor at Edgbaston and Emergency Medicine Consultant at QE Hospital, are two of 25 key worker heroes who had their names displayed on the training shirts of the England Men’s Test team.
The England Men’s players and coaches took to the pitch at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, with Warwickshire and England opening batsman Dom Sibley wearing Mohammed’s name and Sussex fast bowler Olly Robinson wearing Nasir’s name on their training shirts before the start of the match. All people named on the shirts were nominated by their respective county or international cricket venue or local cricket clubs and include teachers, doctors, nurses, carers and other vital professions.
Each key worker will now receive the shirt bearing their name, signed by the player who wore it, to thank them for the work they’ve been doing. Their names and photos will also be highlighted in broadcast partners’ Sky and BBC’s coverage and displayed across the ground on the big screens and LED banners.
“Both Mohammed and Nasir have played an instrumental role in the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Warwickshire CCC’s Safety Officer David Clarke, who nominated both through the ECB #raisethebat initiative.
“Mohammed and his team have been on the front line throughout this period and leading operations at the COVID-19 testing centre within the Edgbaston car park. This was initially planned for use by NHS staff but soon expanded to incorporate wider key workers and referrals through the NHS 111 service thanks to the great work from the team.
“Dr Ali contracted the virus early on in the period of lockdown but made a full recovery and returned to work as soon as it was safe to do so to support the Accident & Emergency ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We’re very grateful for the work that he and his amazing colleagues at the NHS have delivered throughout this period.”
Ben Stokes, who is captaining England in the opening #raisethebat Test match said: “We’re only able to play this Test match because of the amazing job that key workers up and down the country have done to help us through this pandemic.
“Wearing their names is a real honour for us and is a small sign of our appreciation for the incredible work they have done. They have truly gone into bat for us all, and it makes me proud of how the whole cricket family has responded to help us get through these unprecedented times.”