County chief executives are blaming the cramped schedule of India-England series for sluggish ticket sales that could see up to 10,000 empty seats on the first two days of the Edgbaston Test.

The first match starts tomorrow while the third at Trent Bridge begins on a Saturday and the fifth at the Oval on a Friday. Counties prefer the regular Thursday start.

As India is due to play in the Asia Cup days after the fifth Test this series has been squeezed into six weeks.

“We have been impacted by the Wednesday start and this series will throw up the whole debate about regularity of scheduling,” Neil Snowball, the chief executive, was quoted as saying in the ‘Daily Telegraph’.

“Overall we will do around 70,000 tickets altogether. It is just days one and two that sales are not what we would normally expect.”