Cricket Australia claims an increase in TV viewers for Oz-Windies series

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Melbourne, Feb.12 (ANI): Cricket Australia has claimed that television ratings are actually up compared to the last time the West Indies and Pakistan toured.hile there is hope of a reasonable crowd for the Sydney one-dayer tonight, CA insists the lopsided one-day matches between Australia and the West Indies have not been the turnoff as some have claimed.

CA spokesman Peter Young said. "The average viewership per game is up 3.5 per cent on the last time the two teams were here for a one-day series in 2004-05."

Sydney has the unusual distinction of holding the one-day crowd record this summer ahead of Melbourne with the 30,774 it attracted against Pakistan three weeks ago.

While state Twenty20 Big Bash crowds have outshone Australian one-day crowds in the AFL states of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, Sydney's one-dayer against Pakistan on January 24 actually bettered recent matches at the SCG.

The average for the previous six one-day matches at the ground had been fewer than 27,000.

Sydney could also claim the second-highest crowd of the one-day summer if it can attract more than the 25,463 who attended the MCG last Sunday, the lowest crowd to see an Australia-West Indies limited-overs match at the MCG for 26 years.

Cricket NSW chief executive Dave Gilbert has predicted a crowd turnout of between 20,000 and 25,000.

Gilbert is hopeful that the West Indies' first match at the SCG for nine years will create some extra interest.

"You never know. A lot of people fondly remember how good they were in the 80s and whilst they haven't done themselves too many favours in the first two games (this series) there are some good players there," Gilbert said.

Gilbert added: "If Chris Gayle comes off he's a great player to watch. Once you get into February you just have to accept that sort of window for capturing everyone's attention for your sport narrows very quickly." (ANI)

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