Edgbaston Cricket Ground should be renamed Birmingham Edgbaston to spread the city’s name across the world, according to new Chamber of Commerce president Michael Ward.
Mr Ward said renaming the historic Test venue could pay huge dividends for Birmingham – and also advocated restyling Birchfield Harriers as Birmingham Harriers.
The 52-year-old lawyer, who took over the reins as Chamber president last week for a year-long term of office, is to meet senior officials at Edgbaston to discuss his idea.
Mr Ward said: “I cannot understand why some of our worldwide institutions hide the fact that they are in Birmingham. Edgbaston is a prime example.
“At the height of the riots in the city, attracting adverse global publicity, we had about 25,000 people gathering for four days at the ground for the Test match between England and India.
“There was hardly a police officer in sight and the match went ahead without trouble and in a spirit of great friendly rivalry. Yet, those TV images that were sent round the world from the ground did not shout that the venue was in Birmingham while the riots did.
“Everybody knew that the Test match was at Edgbaston but did they know it was in Birmingham? Not in America, not in Europe.
‘‘I would like to see a sign saying Birmingham Edgbaston so that when the press reports from the ground, Birmingham is regularly mentioned.
Mr Ward said Birmingham could also benefit from renaming Birchfield Harriers. He said: ‘‘We need to be sending this message to the world all the time.”