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CA concerned over plummeting crowds for ODIs ahead of 2015 WC

Updated: Oct 25, 2012, 18:39 PM IST

Sydney: Cricket Australia (CA) would need to tackle the growing problem of plummeting crowds during one-day international matches to ensure 2015 World Cup, which is set to transpire Down Under, is a success.

CA chief executive James Sutherland presented research illustrating some of the challenges facing the game, and one of the major problems among them is the squeeze on attendances for one-day internationals in Australia.

Although, overall attendances have grown over the past decade, the rise of domestic and international Twenty20 cricket has coincided with a dramatic decline in ODI crowds, from a total of 456,254 for the summer of 1999-2000 to 251,916 last season.

The fall in ODI crowds was more than counterbalance by growth for Twenty20 internationals and the introduction of the domestic Big Bash League, and Sutherland said TV ratings for one-day cricket remained strong.

But Sutherland also emphasised on the need to act to arrest the trend before the World Cup is staged in Australia and New Zealand three years from now.

“My personal view is we are in a stage of transition. Cricket is very fortunate to have three formats, and all our research shows all three are very popular,” the Age quoted Sutherland, as saying.

“The new kid on the block is Twenty20 and it`s inevitable there is a bit of shuffling of the deck chairs in terms of that popularity. We have seen one-day cricket somewhat affected by that,” he added.

“We support one-day cricket. We have a World Cup here in 2015 and we`re looking forward to that, but we also believe there is an opportunity to distinguish one-day cricket a bit more, to improve that fan experience and improve the format of the game,” he said.

Research also showed average TV audiences for Twenty20 internationals in Australia had rocketed beyond 1.4 million, compared with 858,000 for Tests and 897,000 for ODIs.