World’s second LGBT cricket club to start in Birmingham

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Cricketer in a field.
Photo by michael weir on Unsplash

Birmingham’s first LGBTQ+-inclusive cricket club is coming to town.

The Birmingham Unicorns, started by Lachlan Smith, is hoping to start playing in summer when sporting restrictions are lifted.

The club will be the second of its kind in the world. The other is Graces Cricket Club in London, formed in 1996.

“It all came from COVID”

Lachlan Smith, who describes himself as “gay, Aussie, and an average cricketer!”, told Birmingham Eastside that the idea for the Birmingham Unicorns came out of COVID restrictions.

“I’ve been playing cricket as an out, gay man for 4 or 5 years now”, Lachlan said.

“I knew that during COVID, a lot of the LGBT community were cut off from their friends and support networks, they were unable to go to bars or other groups.”

“I just got thinking – there has to be more LGBT cricket players out there in the Midlands that need a safe, secure and open environment to play cricket in.”

How does a brand new cricket club come together?

Lachlan worked with Birmingham LGBT, the city’s LGBT support charity, to reach out to the community.

“We put out a survey, asking who wanted to be involved, their level of experience, whether they wanted to play competitively, etc.”

“We got about 25 responses – some people used to play, but stopped. Some play it regularly, like me. And some were totally new to the sport and wanted to try it, but never felt like they could.”

From there, Lachlan started his work to constitute the club.

“We’ve been building an identity, doing the paperwork to get things up and running.”

“We’ve also been exploring funding for the club, from organisations like Pride Sports, as well as some potential sponsorships.”

“We’ve managed to get a ground – I managed to work with my current club to secure their second ground, so we can play on Sundays.”

“We still need to get some equipment, though!”

When will the club bowl its first ball?

Lachlan hopes that the club can start playing friendlies in May – COVID permitting.

“Hopefully by March or April, the club can be fully constituted and we can go from there.”

“We’ve got a core group of 6 or 7 people who will turn up every week. As more people get to know about the club, I hope that they’ll come forward to come and play for us.”

“If all goes to plan, our first match will be in May, against Graces from London – currently, the only LGBT club in the world.”

“We’re definitely looking forward to that!”

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A journalist for Birmingham Eastside. Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism MA.

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