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Somerset find Metro Bank One Day Cup success off the pitch

Somerset find Metro Bank One Day Cup success off the pitch
Somerset find Metro Bank One Day Cup success off the pitch

Somerset’s Metro Bank One Day Cup campaign may have proved disappointing in terms of results – but off the pitch it was a resounding success.

More than 13,000 tickets were sold across the four Group B fixtures at the Cooper Associates County Ground, 25 per cent up on last season and the highest number for 50-over cricket this century.

The county also report the largest number of family tickets and junior tickets they have ever sold for the format, while female attendance was 35 per cent, again a record.

All this while ten senior players were away representing franchises in The Hundred, leaving a largely youthful contingent to contest the One Day Cup, in which they won only three of their seven group fixtures.

Proof positive that West Country cricket fans appreciate 50-over cricket and a great boost for a competition that was in danger of being dismissed as second XI cricket due to the number of top players absent playing in the Hundred.

Somerset did their best to promote the group games and encourage attendance by offering an added attraction at each one.

These were a Beer and Cider Festival, a Food Festival, a concert by the Wurzels and a Family Fun Day, all of which proved hugely successful.

The club also sent out more than 500 invitations to low-income households and linked with the Somerset Cricket Foundation to encourage children from national programmes All Stars and Dynamo Cricket to attend.

Somerset commercial director Caroline Herbert said: “It’s been fantastic to see the support of Metro Bank One Day Cup cricket reach even higher levels in 2023.

“We’ve put a huge amount of effort into creating excellent matchday experiences during the fixtures and fans have certainly responded positively to all the events we have staged that support the cricket.

“We have attracted a younger, more diverse audience to the competition and record ticket sales have reflected the passion that supporters have for 50-over cricket in the West Country.

“We have seen our work with the Somerset Cricket Foundation that during the summer holidays is vitally important to engage with young fans.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see record numbers of juniors and families experiencing cricket at the Cooper Associates County Ground for the very first time this summer.”

By Richard Latham for ECB Reporters Network