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Attendances soar in 2008

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The ECB today announced that attendances at domestic cricket matches in 2008 rose by 23 per cent from 2007, reaching a record 1.5million.

Overall, attendances at domestic and international matches rose by 10 per cent, with 2,243,496 fans attending matches in 2008, the highest figure in history.

The LV County Championship has seen attendances top half a million for the first time since 2003 and records a 30 per cent rise on the previous year.

Durham took the title on the final weekend of matches, as Sussex had done in 2007. Total attendance for the LV County Championship was 558,950.

Twenty20 Cup Crowd Rose Bowl 2008

A packed house at the Rose Bowl soaks up the atmosphere at Twenty20 Cup finals day last year

The Twenty20 Cup also enjoyed record attendances and was the most watched competition, with over half a million people attending group, quarter-finals and finals day.

The expanded group match phase of the competition saw a 25 per cent increase in the number of matches with the total audience for 2008 recorded as 593,717, a 36 per cent rise.

Elsewhere, the NatWest Pro40 attendance recorded a rise of 4 per cent from last year, with the Friends Provident Trophy recording a 7 per cent decline from 2007.

However, the Trophy still records attendances in 2008 which double those of 2005 when the new format for the competition was introduced.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: “We are delighted to see the county game continue to grow across England and Wales.

“Many counties have invested heavily in their facilities offering a vastly improved spectator experience, which, coupled with some thrilling cricket in 2008, ensures the fabric of our sport remains strong.”