Cricket attracts record crowds in 2015

Monday 23 November | Written by Chris Airey

Photography by David Griffin

Cricket has recorded its highest overall attendance figures for international and domestic matches since the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was founded 18 years ago.

Derbyshire County Cricket also recorded record crowds in 2015 with its highest ever aggregate attendance for a domestic Twenty20 campaign.

Over 20,000 people, including a first ever Twenty20 sell out at Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, enjoyed NatWest T20 Blast action this summer – a growth of 64% year-on-year.

In county cricket in total, 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.

And international attendances were up by 75,000 on 2014 – despite all five Investec Ashes Test matches finishing inside four days – supported by thrilling Test and One-Day series against New Zealand and sell-out Women’s internationals.

Key trends from 2015 included:

  • More than 560,000 fans watched England in Investec Test matches; 193,000 in Royal London ODIs and 31,000 in NatWest International T20s.
  • 513,000 people watched LV =County Championship matches – up from 495,000 last year.
  • More than 200,000 people attended the 72 Royal London One-Day Cup matches – an increase of around 500 per match on the previous year.
  • The average NatWest T20 Blast attendance per match rose by 800 and eleven out of 18 counties saw their NatWest T20 Blast attendances increase year-on-year.

Derbyshire Commercial Director, Ryan Duckett said: “We received tremendous support in 2015 and we would first like to thank our Members, supporters and commercial partners for their backing.

“It was a record year in the NatWest T20 Blast with our average attendance growing by over 700 spectators per match.

“It was the first time that over 20,000 had attended fixtures across the competition and we’re delighted to sell out the Yorkshire Vikings fixture at Chesterfield for the first time and get another near capacity crowd for the local derby with Notts Outlaws at Derby.

“Planning has already begun for 2016 and we hope many local people will once again be out in force to back Graeme Welch’s side and enjoy some top quality cricket at The 3aaa County Ground and Queen’s Park next summer.”

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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