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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Twenty20 format 'should change'
Fans watching Twenty20 cricket
The ECB have been delighted with the size of the crowds
Leicestershire are backing a proposal to change the Twenty20 Cup format for next season to enable each county side to play more matches.

The plan would see the teams divided into two groups of nine, instead of the current three groups of six.

"The format at the moment is exactly the same as the [old] B&H Cup," chief executive Kevin Hill told BBC Radio Leicester.

The competition was introduced to try and attract a new, younger audience to the game with all the action taking place in just two and a half hours.

It has so far proved a hit with spectators, with large crowds in attendance all over the country.

More than 80,000 people watched the first 18 Twenty20 Cup games, compared to 68,000 for 45 matches in last year's B&H Cup.

"We have produced a form of the game which is not only seems to be appealing but also, importantly, is being played at convenient times for people to come and watch.

"We are delighted by the response we have had so far," said England and Wales Cricket Board marketing manager Stuart Robertson.

Hill, meanwhile, is also urging the ECB to re-examine the playing conditions for the National League and C&G Trophy.

"We need to retain a certain amount of 50-overs cricket, but I personally think it fails because there is a lull mid-way in the proceedings where the batsmen push it around.

"Twenty20 cricket is constant excitement and maybe we need to look at the format of the other one-day competitions to make them more popular."


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