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IS THE PEN MIGHTIER THAN THE BROAD?

England players past and present have swapped their bats for pens to raise funds for the Cricket United charity appeal. The current England squad have penned portraits of the 2005 Ashes winning squad, who have returned the favour.

Cricket United is a joint fundraising appeal by the Lord’s Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund which aims to improve lives through cricket. The charities are asking cricket fans to help turn the Kia Oval blue again on Cricket United Day, 22nd August, the third day of the fifth Investec Ashes Test between England and Australia.

The drawings are being auctioned off on eBay to raise funds for Cricket United. Supporters can bid for them by visiting bit.ly/CUAshesPortraits. The auction is open until 7pm Sunday 23rd August.

Michael Vaughan celebrated Stuart Broad’ s Ashes winning 8-15 spell at Trent Bridge by penning the star celebrating one of his eight victims.

Andrew Flintoff drew Joe Root as a baby crawling toward the Ashes urn. Root reciprocated by depicting Freddie in his suit celebrating the famous 2005 Ashes victory.

Jos Buttler sketched former team mate Marcus Trescothick in the style of the ‘ Michelin Man’.
England’ s leading Test wicket taker, James Anderson, drew the entire 2005 seam bowling line up as well as the moment Andrew Strauss was bowled round his legs by Shane Warne.

Talking about the drawings, England’ s Ashes winning captain Alastair Cook said, “It’ s a bit of fun and the lads enjoyed drawing the 2005 guys. We hope the portraits will raise much-needed funds for three fantastic charities, the Lord’s Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund, and help improve lives through cricket.”

“It’s safe to say that the majority of us are not budding artists, but we’d urge all cricket fans to support the Cricket United appeal either through bidding for the drawings on eBay or by helping to turn the Kia Oval blue on 22nd August.”

Cricket United ambassador Michael Vaughan added, “All of the 2005 guys jumped at the chance to support Cricket United, and have a go at drawing the current team of course! It was great fun penning Stuart Broad and I couldn’ t avoid including his Ashes winning spell.”

“I’m very proud to be heading up the Cricket United campaign and I want all fans to support the day. Hopefully everybody will help turn the Kia Oval blue on 22 August – if you’ re coming to the day make sure you wear blue!”

As well as wearing something blue, fans can show their support for the day by buying a Cricket United cap, raffle ticket or making a voluntary donation for a blue t-shirt during the day. They can also make a donation by texting CRICKET to 70123 to donate £5 and help spread the word by using #cricketunited.

Funds raised from the day will help the Lord’ s Taverners provide more sporting chances for disadvantaged and disabled young people; Chance to Shine to spread the power of cricket to young people in schools and communities; and the PCA Benevolent Fund to help past and present professional cricketers in their hour of need.

Other highlights of Cricket United day include:

* Children who have benefited from the charities will form a guard of honour for the players at the start of the day
* Beneficiaries of Cricket United will be on the pitch ahead of play to collect specially designed Cricket United Test caps from the English & Australian players
* Blue coloured stumps and bails are being used for the first time in an England Test international at home
* The England and Australian team are wearing special Test shirts with the Cricket United logo on the collar to show their support to Cricket United Day
* A Cricket United flag is flying on top of the Pavilion
* Umpires are wearing a blue ribbon on their hat in support of Cricket United
* Investec are turning their 4 & 6 cards blue for the day
* Cricket United ambassadors including Matthew Hoggard, Alec Stewart and Mark Butcher will be around the ground supporting the day
* During the lunch break, 40 young people from the Lord’ s Taverners and Chance to Shine will take part in cricketing activities on the outfield
* Broadcasters from Sky Sports, BBC and Channel 5 including Mark Nicholas, David Gower, David ‘ Bumble’ Lloyd, Graeme Swann, Geoffrey Boycott, Phil Tufnell and Simon Hughes are all wearing special Cricket United blue suits, provided by McCann Bespoke
* Test match sponsors are changing their advertising boards blue in support of the day
* Recreational cricket clubs are participating in a pilot of Blue Bails Day within the Surrey County today. Clubs will mirror activities at the Kia Oval, with their own blue bails, umpires with blue ribbons on their hats and independent fundraising activities

VIEW A LIST OF ALL PORTRAITS HERE