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England Board struggling to sell SL Tests

cricket Updated: May 06, 2011 00:56 IST
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A thin crowd would welcome England's Ashes heroes, in their first appearance on home soil since beating Australia, when they take on Sri Lanka in the first Test in Cardiff starting May 26.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is anxious about the attendance because Cardiff and Swansea could meet in the Football League Championship play-off final at Wembley over the same Bank Holiday weekend.

The Mirror reported that none of the five days have been sold out and the ECB have had to launch an advertising campaign to drive sales above their baseline budget figure.

England's Ashes hero Ian Bell paid an ambassadorial visit to Cardiff 12 days ago to make a sales pitch for the 2011 season's international curtain-raiser.

It is a sheer coincidence that England's cricket team start their international campaign on the same weekend when their Test sponsor, npower, stage the richest game in club football at Wembley, worth an estimated £90m (R664 cr) to the winners.