YOUNG VOICES

Majority Of Ashes 2013 Cricket Team Privately Educated

01/08/2013 11:19 BST | Updated 01/08/2013 11:46 BST

With its associations to cucumber sandwiches and tea on the village green, cricket is sometimes seen as a sport for the privately educated.

But new research suggests that the next cricketing superstar is just as likely to come from a state school as a fee-paying one.

A survey of 413 professional cricketers playing in England and Wales has revealed that half (207) were taught in the state sector, while nearly three in 10 (119) went to a private school.

alastair cook

England captain Alastair Cook was granted a scholarship to the independent Bedford School

The rest - 87 players - were educated abroad.

The make-up of the England team listed for the third Ashes Test against Australia, which begins today at Old Trafford, is slightly different.

The figures, collected by the Chance to Shine charity which aims to bring cricket back to state schools, show that half of the 14-man squad - captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Johnny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, James Taylor and Monty Panesar - all went to private school.

Five - Joe Root, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett - were taught at state schools. The other two - Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott - were educated abroad.

Chance to Shine chief executive Wasim Khan, said: "We're striving to bring the standard of cricket in state schools up, rather than bring independent schools down. Our aim, ultimately, is to give every child in every school the opportunity to play and learn through cricket.

"We've made great strides over the past eight years, with the support of organisations like ECB and Sport England, but our work is far from over.

"When we set out, we said we'd reach a third of state schools by 2015 and we've achieved this two years ahead of schedule. The challenge now is to continue to raise significant funds so we can reach the remaining two-thirds of state schools and inspire the next generation of young cricketers."

England cricketer Jonathan Trott said: "It's important that students at schools get the opportunity to play and enjoy cricket, regardless of their background. Chance to Shine is doing a fantastic job at broadening the reach of the game and keeping young people engaged in sport, hopefully, for many years to come."