|Is a brighter future in store for our national game?
The traditional County Cricket game is in crisis with dwindling audiences and a drop in club revenues.
But how long can the game go on with shrinking, yet die hard, fans?
Back in the 1980s County Cricket attracted thousands of fans and fanatical support but today that number is much lower.
Inside Out investigates if there is a better future for our national game.
A test bed for talent
County Cricket matters for the future development of the game.
|Fans are staying away in droves
It is the back bone for those who go on to represent their country at Test level but it only survives because of funding from the English Cricket Board.
The game would flounder if it was forced to live off gate receipts alone.
So what can be done to revive the game?
Twenty/20 is being touted as the new face of County Cricket, designed to make games more exciting and pull in the fans.
A sticky wicket?
We investigate the new moves towards Twenty/20 cricket.
|TWENTY/20 CRICKET - THE FACTS
What is 20/20 cricket?
A punchier game designed to attract new fans and fit in better with TV schedules
20/20 games kick off at 5pm to attract more fans
The game consists of 20 overs
Bowlers are allotted four overs each
Marketed as an ideal summer evening out for children, families and office parties
took the BBCs Cricket Correspondent Jonathan Agnew to his former club Leicestershire for the start of the season.
Twice County Champions in the 1990s, the club is now desperate to bring new fans through the gates.
The new Twenty/20 cricket, which started earlier this month, is being trumpeted as a possible saviour of the game.
Its a 'made for TV' game designed to jazz up the County Cricket game.
Each match promises non-stop, big-hitting entertainment for 20 overs per side, lasting under three hours and played from 5.30pm-8.15pm
For the spectators theres the added attraction of bands, barbecues and karaoke, all designed to attract the younger fan.
|"I wouldnt say without Twenty/20 we will go out of business, but it is vital we encourage a new audience."
|Kevin Hill, Leicestershires General Manager
To the traditionalists its simply not cricket.
Leicestershires Captain, Phillip DeFreitas, admits hes "Not one of those whos fully supportive," but says as a batsmen hell enjoy the slog.
Some of the fans agree, others aren't so sure.
Leicestershires most devoted supporter is Louis Springette, who goes to every game and has been a fan since he arrived from the West Indies in 1957.
He is supportive of the new game:"Theyve gotta go for it. I just love seeing my boys hitting fours and sixes."
The view from the top
|Will Twenty/20 cricket boost crowds?
Tim Lamb, Chief Executive of the English Cricket Board, enthuses about this new form of cricket.
"I have no doubt that the Twenty/20 Cup will make a significant impact on our domestic cricket next summer."
"With generous prize money on offer, the players have every incentive to go flat out to achieve success on the pitch."
"This is one of the most revolutionary and exciting initiatives undertaken by the ECB and the First Class Counties for many years."
Knocked for six?
But will Twenty/20 cricket destroy the game as we know it?
Some critics argue that there must be other solutions to dwindling gates.
Plans for 'golden over' cricket, where runs count double, are also under discussion.