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FLt20 draws record crowds

Cricket fans across the country have snapped up tickets in their thousands for tonight's round of 'local derby' contests in the Friends Life t20 competition.

Four of tonight's games between rival counties are already completely sold out - with more than 65,000 fans in total expected to attend across the full programme of eight matches.

Derbyshire Falcons v Notts Outlaws, Somerset v Gloucestershire Gladiators, Surrey v Middlesex Panthers and Yorkshire Vikings v Lancashire Lightning are the sell-out fixtures, with strong attendances also expected for the matches between Leicestershire Foxes and Durham Dynamos, Kent Spitfires and Essex Eagles, Northants Steelbacks and Warwickshire Bears, and Sussex Sharks and Hampshire Royals.

The strong sales represent a major boost for the domestic county game as it prepares to adopt a new fixture schedule next year - with the vast majority of T20 fixtures set to be played on a Friday night.

ECB Chief Executive David Collier commented: "The record crowds for tonight's games confirm the findings of extensive market research by ECB last season - which revealed that Friday night is the fans' overwhelming night of choice for t20 viewing.

"With even more t20 cricket set to be played on Friday nights next season, supporters will be able to make a regular 'appointment to view' the competition and enjoy all the excitement and in-ground atmosphere which makes our domestic t20 game so popular with cricket fans of all ages."

Tickets are still remaining for the other four games this evening, so be sure to get to the grounds early to grab a ticket for Friends Life t20 action.

The 18 counties are split into three regional groups of six, playing each other home and away, with the top two teams from each group and the two best third-placed teams battling it out in the quarter-finals. Four teams then proceed to the showpiece Finals Day, which will this year be held on Saturday 17 August at Edgbaston.

To purchase tickets for the 2013 Friends Life t20, go to www.ecb.co.uk/FLt20

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