England fans have expressed their belief in Test match cricket being the pinnacle of the game - particularly among the under 25 year olds - through a newly formed TwelfthMan Panel.TwelfthMan is the Official Fan Community of England Cricket, is free to join and at present boasts more than 200,000 subscribers to the regular newsletter. Over 90,000 of the most active were invited to take part in the initial survey to mark the start of the international summer. Nearly 3,000 (2,939) gave their views on international cricket and will become part of the TwelfthMan Panel.Fans were asked their most popular form of the game to attend, and while many may assume the younger generation favour Twenty20 cricket, it was Test Match cricket that proved most popular with those under the age of 25 (61% of the 200 in this age range). But 26% of this age group favour the shortest form of cricket, which is higher than any other age group.
Turning attention to the current Investec Test Series, 95% of England fans think beating New Zealand is an important building block to success in the Investec Ashes against Australia later this summer.England captain Alastair Cook and leading-wicket taker James Anderson are being backed to star this summer - 67% of fans thinking the two players will top England's run-scoring and wicket-taking tables respectively. While in this Investec Test Series, fans believe Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum holds the key to the visitors' fight (45% rated the captain as the biggest threat).Sir Richard Hadlee topped the poll for the accolade of the greatest ever New Zealand cricketer claiming 77% per cent of the vote.David Collier, England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive, said: "It's important that cricket fans have a voice in our game. We believe their views are a vital part of the research that we conduct into all aspects of the game and the TwelfthMan Panel will enable us to gather opinions on a wide range of issues regularly throughout the summer. The County Cricket survey from last season shows that we will listen to fans and do our utmost to act upon their views."