Agar ‘itching’ to get over to Birmingham

Ashton Agar is "itching to get stuck in" for Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast - and his sights are firmly set on sampling the unique atmosphere of Finals Day at Edgbaston.

Left-arm spinner Agar had his first taste of a big-match day at Edgbaston last year when he played for Australia against England in a T20.

England won, as they tend to do in Birmingham, but the 25-year-old acquitted himself well. He was the most economical Aussie bowler with 4-0-34-0 and then struck 29 from 23 balls in his side’s 28-run defeat.

"I played in the T20I at Edgbaston last year and it was electric. It reminded me of when I was a child and went to big games and it just felt like everybody in the crowd was having a party."

Ashton Agar

Although in the beaten side that day, Agar loved the atmosphere – and the prospect of having Edgbaston as a home ground was one of the factors which attracted him to sign for the Bears for the entire 2019 Vitality Blast campaign – including, hopefully, the knockout stages.

“I played in the T20I at Edgbaston last year and it was electric,” he said. “It reminded me of when I was a child and went to big games and it just felt like everybody in the crowd was having a party with their mates. With all the noise and the fancy dress it’s a really special atmosphere and that lifts you as a player.

“You certainly know when you are in the away team though. To have Edgbaston, with all the Bears fans in full voice, as a home ground will be great and to get to Finals Day and play in that atmosphere with all those supporters behind you would be awesome.”

Agar will bring to the Bears plenty of skill and experience, as well as a record of T20 success, having been part of the Perth Scorchers teams that won the Big Bash in 2014/15 and 2016/17.

He has played 15 T20Is for Australia, as well as four Test and nine ODIs, and excelled on his first outings in the Vitality Blast last season when he topped Middlesex’s bowling averages with nine wickets at 23.11 runs apiece in six games.

Now he can’t wait to make his Bears debut, in the derby opener against Worcestershire Rapids at New Road on July 19.

“As soon as the Bears came in for me it was obvious that it would be a great move for me,” he said. “The way they dealt with everything was ultra-professional and very impressive and I’m just itching to get over to Birmingham and stuck in.

“The T20 in England is a great tournament, just as good as the Big Bash, and I really enjoyed my time with Middlesex last season. I’ve always liked the idea of playing in England, particularly in white-ball cricket, and I am just so grateful to get this opportunity with the Bears and to have a great stadium like Edgbaston as a home ground. The Bears have got a very strong squad and I am thrilled to be joining it.”

Tickets for 2019 are on sale now at birminghambears.com, over the phone by calling 0121 369 1994 (option 1) or in person at Edgbaston Stadium.

Early Bird tickets are only £15 – but be quick, only 2,000 available for each match. Under 16s go FREE to all home games.

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