T20: Hampshire's Rod Bransgrove sees new competition as key to young audience

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Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove believes a new city-based Twenty20 competition is vital to holding on to the game's young audience.

The 18 counties and the MCC will debate the ECB's plan for a new tournament to run alongside the existing T20 Blast at a board meeting in October.

It is proposed that the new eight-team competition could begin in 2018.

"I have long held the belief that cricket is at a crossroads," Bransgrove told BBC South Today.

"Young participation has been falling off a cliff for some time and we've not been doing enough to address this issue.

"This competition gives us the opportunity to address the 9.4 million people who are interested in cricket, but are not necessarily joining their local cricket club."

At a recent meeting, Surrey, Kent and Sussex were reportedly against the proposal for the new competition, which would run alongside the existing T20 Blast,

But Bransgrove fears for the future of the game if the concept is not given the go ahead.

"Basically, I don't see any reason for not proceeding with these considerations," he said.

"The truth is young people won't be playing the sport to any great extent and it will eventually fizzle out into a cult sport with no particular financial backing."

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