HAMPSHIRE cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove fears the sport could lose some of its new enthusiasts unless the popular Twenty20 Cup format is changed.

Hampshire's three home matches in the new competition last month against Sussex, Essex and Surrey were "a massive commercial success" according to Bransgrove.

Though the county finished bottom of their qualifying group, just under 20,000 fans flocked to the Rose Bowl for the shortened games, which were backed up by sideshows and pop concerts after the finish.

The 8,500 that crammed the three-year-old stadium for the opening Sky-televised game against Sussex was a ground record.

Previously, the highest crowd was around 6,500 for a day-night National League match.

"Look at how the public backed the Twenty20 Cup - we have to respond to something like that," Bransgrove remarked.

"There's four forms of cricket we can give our supporters and cricket enthusiasts - international cricket, Twenty20 cricket, one-day cricket and first-class four-day cricket, and their popularity is in that order.

"What we want to do is present a programme that contains something for everyone, so everyone is satisfied. On top of that, we also want to host day-night one-day games and the concerts we've had and are taking place at the end of next month (featuring pop acts and the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra).

"The public have demanded they want Twenty20 cricket, so we have to give it to them. It might be that we have to arrange the other fixtures around the Twenty20.

"I don't know about a Twenty20 League, but at the moment we're only scheduled to have two home Twenty20 games next season and I'd say that's not enough to cope with the demand.

"There were a lot of new customers coming to the Twenty20 Cup games and no business can afford to turn new customers away.

"How could you even consider doing that?

"It was a case of the public speaking to the county clubs and telling us that they like this punchy, shortened form of the game.

"Like any business, we have to respond to what our customers want."