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Bumper county cricket crowds enjoy 2015 season

Monday 23rd November 2015

Kent recorded a 74 per cent rise in NatWest T20 Blast attendances as county cricket recorded the biggest crowds since the England and Wales Cricket Board was established in 1997.

Strong ticket sales across the three formats were underpinned by Kent’s loyal membership base of more than 5,000

2015 was a landmark year for the county with more than 10,000 spectators returning to the refurbished County Ground, Beckenham for six days of cricket in May and June.

The Australia tour match at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence in late June welcomed more than 15,000 visitors over the four days.

Almost 14,000 attended an extended Canterbury Week in August which culminated in Kia Women's Ashes Test match.

Kent Spitfires played in front of sell-out crowds in the NatWest T20 Blast run with 35,000 spectators seeing a table-topping group stage and a dramatic quarter-final exit with the scores level with Lancashire.

Kent Cricket CEO Jamie Clifford said: “We’re delighted to see the national appeal of county cricket growing. This is mirrored in Kent with our ticket sales and membership numbers also growing year-on-year.

“All three formats have a distinct audience and NatWest T20 Blast on Friday nights in particular has become a fixture and the attendances prove it. 2015 was particularly encouraging as we moved around 3 different venues in this competition.

“Thank you to all our Members and Supporters for their loyalty which we hope we can re-pay on the pitch in 2016.”

Nationwide, more than 1.5 million people attended LV= County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast matches combined and all three competitions recorded increased total attendances year-on-year.

At least 513,000 people watched LV= County Championship matches in 2015 – up from 495,000 in 2014.

In limited overs cricket, more than 200,000 people attended 72 Royal London One-Day Cup matches this year – an increase of around 500 per match on last year with average NatWest T20 Blast attendances rising by 800.

ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “Across the summer, attendances grew for each of the county competitions as well as the international games.

“We saw an inspiring series with New Zealand and an Investec Ashes victory for England’s men; an ever-higher profile and record crowds for the Women’s Ashes series; ECB records for all three formats of the domestic game; and, at grassroots level, significant increases in entries for our junior cricket competitions alongside our highest levels of volunteering for the NatWest Cricket Force.

“These figures reflect a big effort by the counties, our international venues and partners to enhance the match-day experience, improve facilities and make our cricket grounds as fan-friendly and accessible as possible.

“They are all good signs and there are big opportunities ahead. We know that there’s more that can be done to draw people to watch and play cricket and further improve standards across the game.”

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