Imams and vicars go head-to-head in inter-faith cricket match

editorial image

To some die-hard fans, cricket is like a religion.

But when imams and vicars step up to the crease for an inter-faith cricket match, more than just their resolve will be tested.

Two teams of holy men from churches and mosques in Dewsbury and Batley will go head-to-head to show that religion and appearance is not a barrier against friendship.

It’s the latest friendly in a series of light-hearted Christian-Muslim grudge matches, organised by Dewsbury community group Kumon Y’all, after the imams’ team beat the vicars in a football match.

The nail-biting contest on the pitch in Savile Town last month was featured on the BBC’s One Show.

Molana Farook Yunus, who runs Kumon Y’all, said: “The aim is to show that people are different in looks and belief but can still be friends and enjoy each other’s company.

“We have made lots of friends in events like these and we build on these friendships afterwards.”

The 11-a-side cricket match will take place on September 19 at Sands Lane playing fields in Dewsbury.

And the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, has announced he will take up a bat for the vicars’ team.

Each player will bat for two overs and bowl two overs during the match.

The game will be free to attend and there will be refreshments, a bouncy castle and games for youngsters and families.

Mr Yunus added: “It is very important to bring people together especially nowadays as people drift apart and don’t mingle as much as they used to.

“Sport is very effective in bringing people together and we at Kumon Y’all will use whatever we can to create better understanding and peace between communities.”

He said previous inter-faith friendly games had led to players who met organising a litter pick in Dewsbury Moor, archery sessions in Thornhill, Dewsbury, and a talk in Staincliffe, Batley, about how communities can live together in harmony.

The vicars have called for more men of the cloth to take up the bat for their team, as their numbers are low.

Anyone interested in becoming a team member should contact the Rev Brunel James on 012748734710 or the Rev Mark Umpleby on 01924 726461.