England may be celebrating playing the 1,000th Test this week at Edgbaston, but the prospect of 10,000 or so empty seats on the first couple of days may provide a reminder of the challenges facing the oldest format of the international game.
Certainly ticket sales at Edgbaston for the first couple of days of the series are modest. With about 15,000 expected to attend on the first day (a figure that includes more than a 1,000 complimentary tickets) and just over 13,000 for the second, the ground will be little over half full of its capacity of just under 25,000. And while sales for the next couple of days are better - the third day, Friday, is almost a sell-out - the spectacle of so many empty seats may both dampen spirits and stiffen the resolve at the ECB to explore new avenues to engage with a new audience.
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