(Credit: Bradford Council)

A special ceremony has taken place to admit three Bradford District-born cricketers, including Adil Rashid, to the Roll of Honorary Freemen of The City.

Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, MBE and Harry Brook were officially given the honour of Freeman of the City during the ceremony on Monday, 21 August.

Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, MBE were part of England’s extraordinary ‘super over’ victory in the final of the 50-over competition against New Zealand at Lord’s on 14 July 2019.

In recognition of that feat – England’s first World Cup crown in 12 attempts – Bradford Council’s Freemen of the City selection panel recommended in 2020 that Bairstow and Rashid should become the eighth and ninth to receive the honour.

Harry Brook who was born in Keighley and grew up in Burley-in-Wharfedale plays for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, he made his international debut for England in January 2022 and was part of the England team that won the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Harry was Professional Cricketers Association Young Player of the Year for both 2021 and 2022 and the Cricket Writer’s Club Young Cricketer of the Year for 2021. He was also the International Cricket Council World Player of the Month in December 2022 and February 2023.

He was nominated for freedom of the city by Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe at a meeting in May.

Before the ceremony in Bradford’s City Hall they met with young cricketers from the District who took part in cricket activities outside City Hall organised by Yorkshire Cricket Board.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “Adil, Harry and Jonny have been selected not only because they are exceptional sportsmen but also outstanding role models for young people and communities right across the Bradford District.

“The Freedom of the City is a fitting accolade and mark of respect to reflect the admiration and pride they have inspired across the district – and indeed the country. And they join an impressive band of previous recipients of our city’s highest honour.”

(Credit: Bradford Council)

Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Gerry Barker said: “Granting the Freedom of the City is a rare occurrence and this important honour recognises people who have made an important contribution in the city, district and country.”

The Roll of Honorary Freemen of the City was created in the late nineteenth century. The first name admitted to the roll was that of Sir Henry Mitchell, a former Mayor, philanthropist and mill owner. Since that time other famous Bradfordians such as JB Priestley (1973), Barbara Castle (1997) and David Hockney (2000) have been admitted to the roll.

The most recent recipients were rugby league coach Brian Noble (2006), The 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2010) and Sir Ken Morrison CBE (also 2010).