Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flower bemoans scheduling mistake

The Swalec Stadium in Cardiff
There were vast swathes of empty seats at the Swalec Stadium on Tuesday

England coach Andy Flower conceded poor scheduling was a factor in the low crowds for the back-to-back Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan.

Both games were staged at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, with less than 6,000 fans attending the second match.

"That must be the smallest crowd I've ever been involved in with an England team in this country," said Flower.

"To have two Twenty20 games at the same venue at this stage of the season might have been an error."

The Swalec Stadium has a capacity of 16,000, but was not even half full as England secured their seventh Twenty20 win in a row, equalling the international record for the shorter format of the sport.

England dismissed Pakistan for 89, before reaching the victory target inside 15 overs. It had rained on the day of the match, but the contest started on schedule at 1800 BST.

"It was a strange atmosphere," added Flower. "It's a real pity.


"Perhaps the weather didn't help on Tuesday, but no one wants our national side to play in front of such a small crowd.

"The fact that we dominated so completely meant that it wasn't a great contest for the people who did come either."

England now take on Pakistan in five one-day internationals, beginning in Durham on Friday.

They will be the England's final fixtures before they depart for their tour of Australia.

"None of us want to see small crowds, but we don't know what the attendances will be like at the one-dayers yet," added Flower.

"I hope the English cricketing public will come and support their team."

The allegations of corruption that have engulfed the Pakistan team may have had an impact on attendance on Tuesday.

The hardest sell of all is when things do chop and change

ECB marketing director Steve Elworthy

But ensuring grounds are full is a major priority for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who will hold a post-season strategy review.

"We are going to have to get into this, so that we really understand the spectators and understand why they have stayed away to be able to address this," ECB marketing director Steve Elworthy told the Independent newspaper .

"What's going on here is a combination of a lot of factors and I think we've got to get to the heart of it to understand it. It's certainly not something we're taking lightly."

England have played Tests against Bangladesh and Pakistan this summer, as well as one-day internationals against Scotland, Australia and Bangladesh in addition to the forthcoming fixtures against Pakistan and the two Twenty20 games.

"The hardest sell of all is when things do chop and change," added Elworthy.

"You want a consistent product and consistent approach, then people know what to expect. But you have to throw into the mix the economic climate. Ticket prices have been discussed at length over the course of this season."

Potenshöjande medel - köp cilais online

No comments: