Smith positive ahead of Twenty20 changes

Northants chief executive David Smith
Northants chief executive David Smith

An excellent turnout for the opening game of the Yorkshire Bank 40 campaign provided ample evidence for chief executive David Smith that Friday evening Twenty20 will be a success.

A gate of 2,800 on Sunday showed that if the right factors are in place then people are willing to come and watch.

And Smith, who has long been an advocate of spacing out limited overs fixtures and giving them regualr slots on the calendar, was encouraged by what he saw.

He said: “It was an excellent turnout and showed that a nice day, a team that has been winning matches and attractive opposition will attract more supporters.

“It was very good for us, we had a good take on the bars and it was certainly encouraging from a commercial point of view.

“When the Twenty20 moves to Friday evenings next season I think you will see people come because there will be a regualr slot for it.

“Obviously more will turn up if the side is winning and is competitive and that is what we’re working towards.”

Sussex are up next in the first floodlit game of the year and Smith is hoping that there is some carry over from the weekend.

He added: “A 3.40 start with the game on Sky isn’t the ideal scenario to get spectators into the ground but we were all encouraged by the weekend and would like more of the same.”