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County games enjoy record crowds

Durham win the County Championship
Durham clinched the championship on the final weekend of matches

A record-breaking 1.5m people watched county cricket matches during the 2008 season, an increase of 23%, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

The County Championship saw a 30% increase from 2007, with 558,950 people attending matches.

The expanded Twenty20 Cup was the most-watched competition with 593,317 coming through the turnstiles, an increase of 36% from the previous season.

But the Friends Provident Trophy saw a 7% decline from figures in 2007.

"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," said ECB chief executive David Collier.

The figures suggest a resurgence in the County Championship, a four-day competition often criticised for its lack of spectators.

The climax of the 2008 First Division Championship was one of the most exciting in the competition's history, as Durham clinched the title on the final weekend of matches.

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see also
Home start for champions Durham
18 Dec 08 |  Counties
Durham seal title as Kent go down
27 Sep 08 |  Counties

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