Cricket: Warwickshire hope 10,000 see the light

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The Independent Online
Warwickshire have already sold 4,500 tickets for today's Axa League game against Somerset at Edgbaston, and are expecting the first competitive match under floodlights in this country to attract a gate in excess of 10,000, nearly double their average Sunday crowd.

Even though the match, which starts at 6.10pm, is being screened live on Sky Sports, Keith Cook, Warwickshire's cricket secretary, expects existing members to swell the crowd into five figures. He said the club is preparing for a 40 overs per side contest like "a mini Test match."

Warwickshire have been cast in the role of pioneers because the Sunday League match originally scheduled as the first to be held under lights, between Surrey and Nottinghamshire at The Oval last month, was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The temporary floodlights have been brought in to Edgbaston at a cost of pounds 40,000 and housed on the pylons used for Monday's day-night friendly between Lancashire and Yorkshire at Old Trafford, a game attended by a delegation from Warwickshire.

"The game certainly seems to have captured the imagination of the people of Birmingham and everybody you speak to seems to be talking about Wednesday's match," Cook said. He hopes that a fine evening could encourage more than 10,000 to go along.

The former India captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Navjot Sidhu are considering legal action after an Indian magazine quoted the former Pakistan wicketkeeper, Rashid Latif, as suggesting they were involved in match-fixing. They have denied the allegations.

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