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Twenty20 avoids World Cup errors

Organisers of next month's ICC World Twenty20 event say they have learnt from mistakes made at the World Cup.

The competition in the West Indies was criticised for poorly attended games and a lack of atmosphere in grounds.

But with Twenty20 tickets available for 1.38, organisers in South Africa hope to attract plenty of local interest.

"We have learnt from issues about the lack of attendances and local flavour in the West Indies," tournament director Steve Elworthy told BBC Sport.

The inaugural World Twenty20 gets under way on 11 September at three venues in South Africa - Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

The cheapest ticket for any game - including England versus Australia - is 20 rand (1.38), while the most expensive for the final were available for 160 rand (11).

In contrast tickets for the World Cup final ranged from $100-300 (49-149).

Even tickets for the World Cup Super 8 stage cost $75 (37) - as a result empty seats were in abundance in the Caribbean.

Local fans were priced out of the market by World Cup officials and put off by strict rules against taking musical instruments into the ground.

Elworthy added: "At the end of the World Cup they allowed the steel bands into the ground and started getting the Caribbean feel back into the matches.

"From a ticket pricing perspective we have priced them really competitively and it's reflected in our sales.

"We have tried to make sure it's affordable. The top end tickets are not too high and the bottom end are seriously accessible.

"There has been a lot of home support in terms of snapping up the tickets.

"We have learned and the ICC also understood it was a barrier to buy a ticket because up to 300 US dollars (149) for a ticket is pretty expensive.

"It was discussed at length and eventually we came up with this formula which has a very big South African flavour.

"Some of the high-profile games are sold out - the opening game, the final and both the semi-finals.

"One or two of the double-headers are close to being sold-out."

Elworthy says the ticket prices are similar to the cost of watching their domestic Twenty20 cricket and lower than for a one-day international game in South Africa.

Organisers are also looking at boosting attendances for the games between the less popular nations by offering tickets to schools and local clubs.

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