Forget War of the Roses - this is love

Vicars and imams will come together from across the Pennines for a War of the Roses with a difference - an inter-faith cricket match between a team from Yorkshire and a team from Lancashire which aims to build bridges and promote inclusion between different cultures.

Titled ‘Love of the Roses’, the event sees two teams - made up of a mixture of imams and vicars – face off in a Twenty20 match, representing both Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Farook Yunus, project manager at the Batley and Dewsbury youth group Kumon Y’all, is part of the project team and it follows on a successful event last year where imams faced priests in a tense match.

He said: "This year we have our own war of the roses except we are crossing out the word "war" and replacing it with the word love

"We are confident it has the potential to be bigger and better than last year.

"We want to show the world that you can hold different beliefs, different looks and different backgrounds and still have more in common. It really is that simple," he added.

Amongst those signed up to be a part of the ‘White Rose’ team is Batley, Purlwell and Hanging Heaton priest, Revd Mark Umpleby and Cleckheaton Vicar, the Revd Brunel James.

Mark represented the vicars X1 last year and said: "By playing side by side with different faith leaders, it shows what the whole event is about - growing friendships and  understanding one another more - and in today's world, that is a great thing for us all to be doing.

The event will take place at the Community of the Resurrection on Saturday 17 September and is supported by the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation (YCF) with a day of fun planned including free food and drink  for spectators as well as entertainment for children,  including archery and bouncy castles.

Taj Butt is the Community Development Officer at YCF and he said it was important for the county club to back the project.

"Last year was just a local event, but this time round with it being Yorkshire versus Lancashire we thought it was really important to get involved. Not only is it a good advert for the game but it brings together different communities.

“That’s what cricket is all about and we are really pleased to be involved with something like this,” he added.


A version of this story first appeared in the Asian Express Newspaper - credit to them for the pictures.

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