Roll up, roll up, the Twenty20 Cup circus is about to hit town again.
Roll up, roll up, the Twenty20 Cup circus is about to hit town again. The short-form
version of county cricket launches its second season on Friday with a range of
crazy new off-field initiatives.Last year's inaugural competition was a phenomenal
success and counties are hoping for a repeat in 2004 with more than 110,000 advanced
tickets being sold. And this year it seems they have gone that extra mile to pull
in punters who would not normally be seen at a cricket ground.
Where else would you find speed dating, cheerleaders, fireworks and face painting?
Beach themes seem to be popular at a number of the counties. Essex and Hampshire
have created mock-up beaches on the boundary edge, while Worcestershire have gone
all Caribbean with sand, hot tubs and "babewatch" girls for the fans
Speed dating appears to be another popular sideshow to the Twenty20 Cup. Lancashire,
Worcestershire and Warwickshire are all participating in a bit of lurve action
- with Bears' player Neil Carter said to be actively involved. And Glamorgan are
organising a bachelor/bachelorette competition to find the most eligible singles
Dressing up is being encouraged with a Wild West Night at Leicestershire and a
sun versus ski wear contest at Glamorgan and for the first time flags, banners
and fancy dress are being allowed at Lord's. Music is another initiative with
many counties linking up with local radio stations and Essex have promised a female
solo singer for each group game. And if the cricket gets too much for children,
there are plenty of other initiatives to occupy them.
Fun fairs, bouncy castles and face painting will be on offer along with gladiator
jousting and at Durham, kids will have the chance to quiz players at a special
news conference! But surely the most anticipated newcomer this year is a remote
controlled duck at Worcestershire, who will enter the outfield each time someone
is out for nought.
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