LEGENDARY South Yorkshire umpire Dickie Bird has backed a new scheme offering free tickets to top cricket matches for serving members of the armed forces.
The sport has signed up to the Tickets For Troops scheme, which provides servicemen and women with tickets to sporting, musical and cultural events including the FA Cup Semi-Finals and the National Music Awards.
Nearly 90,000 troops have registered to take advantage of the scheme and 250,000 tickets have been donated.
Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are among 11 county cricket clubs who have pledged thousands of tickets.
Matches available include county cricket, the Friends Life T20, Clydesdale Bank CB40, LV=CC, plus top international npower Test and Natwest Series fixtures.
Dickie, from Barnsley, said: “Tickets for Troops is a brilliant idea and I am pleased to see cricket has got involved.
“I hope it is a tremendous success. The troops do so much for us, they do a wonderful job and a lot have lost their lives - we owe them so much.”
Highlights this summer include England’s test matches against Sri Lanka and India at Cardiff, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge, and Lords and tickets to the One Day Internationals.
Sir Ian Botham said: “Let’s get behind our troops, let’s give them some support.”
For a full list of cricket tickets on offer, troops should visit www.ticketsfortroops.org.uk/what’s-on/sports/cricket.aspx and register with their service details.