LORD Patel of Bradford believes the new ECB deal, signed with Sky and the BBC this summer, could be a last chance for cricket to regain its lofty place among the summer sporting calendar.

In the record £1.1billion broadcast deal, which will start in 2020 and last for five years, cricket will return to the BBC after an absence of more than two decades and 30 per cent of the money will be spent on the grass-roots game.

The BBC will show ten live matches in the new T20 franchise tournament, including the final, as well as two England T20 internationals.

They will also show highlights of all England men's and women's internationals, plus exclusive digital clips from all formats, with the main cricket coverage being on BBC2 and BBC4.

Sky will show all England's home matches live, plus county cricket and women's cricket.

Lord Patel, also known as Kamlesh Kumar Patel, was a guest speaker at the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League's prize presentation evening at the Dubrovnik Hotel.

"With Sky we have the money and with the BBC we have the reach and 30 per cent of the money will go to grass-roots cricket," he said.

"It may be the last time that we have the chance to change cricket, what with Netflix etc.

"Every stadium will have an app that allows people to click on players via their phones etc and find all of their details and also order food and drink. We feel that we are turning the (oil) tanker around."

Lord Patel added: "We have interviewed thousands of kids and cricket is not even in the top ten of their interests.

"WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and even comedy rank higher than cricket, which only has one million true followers in England and Wales.

"Only one per cent of people are playing cricket above the age of 12 – but we need to keep people engaged, including boys and girls of different ethnic backgrounds.

"We have a heat map of the country at the ECB and we know exactly where the red spots are. One third of all cricketers in this country are from Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds but they represent only five per cent of the country."

Lord Patel has played for Northowram Fields in the Central Yorkshire League and Bradford League, Manningham Mills and Bowling Old Lane in the Bradford League and Interlink, Bradford Indians, Bradford Gymkhana and Graduates Association in the Mutual League.

He said: "Over 14 months, we (ECB) looked at all aspects of cricket and we have 70,000 pieces of data. Next month we will produce a three-year action plan and we want to change the face of cricket.

"Firstly, we want to build a new audience for the new T20 tournament, which will not be the end of red-ball cricket as some counties have thought.

"Also women's and girls' cricket is a huge issue and we want another 700 women coaches over the next five years.

"We want umpires across ten core cities, plus 50 new urban cricket centres because people want indoor facilities.

"We also want to build the All Stars programme for five to eight year olds and eight to 12 year olds, have a community-owned Street Chance To Shine programme and we also want to build 100 cricket pitches over the next five years, both artificial and non-artificial.

"All counties will have one South Asian board member and a third of the ECB board will be women, while the make-up of the ECB workforce will also change."

More locally, Lord Patel revealed that he has lined up a London-based sponsor for a potential weekend festival of cricket next season involving many of the Bradford area's leagues.