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England stars draw on artistic skills

The England men's and women's teams have turned cricket into an art form, literally, to raise money for charity.

The UK's three leading cricket charities - The Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and PCA Benevolent Fund - asked England players, including Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor, to draw portraits of each other in support of their 'Cricket United' charitable appeal.

The result is a unique set of drawings, listed below. Having already displayed his artistry out on the field against Australia and New Zealand, England batsman Joe Root - who took Art at A-Level - reveals himself as a gifted artist too with his portraits of Ian Bell and Monty Panesar. Meanwhile, the camaraderie between bowlers Anderson and Swann continues on paper with their characteristically humorous doodles of each other.

Bell relies on a simple stick man to portray Steven Finn, while the latter's portrait of Pietersen is a throwback to 2005 and his unforgettable 'skunk' haircut. The England women players also sketched portraits of each other with Lydia Greenway capturing skipper Edwards on paper and Jenny Gunn drawing her fast bowling colleague Katherine Brunt. 

From today, cricket fans will get the chance to bid for the original portraits at eBay at http://bit.ly/Englandportraits. The auction will last for 10 days (until 1pm on Sunday 4 August) with all proceeds going to ‘Cricket United’.

‘Cricket United’ is a joint fundraising appeal by The Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund, which aims to leave a lasting legacy from the 2013 Investec Ashes Series. Earlier this month, former England captain Andrew Strauss called on England and Australian cricket fans to get involved in 'Cricket United Day', the UK's biggest cricket awareness day on August 23 - the third day of the fifth Test - and help turn the Kia Oval into 'a sea of blue'.

Fans can show their support in a number of ways: by wearing something blue - a colour that unites the three charities - at the ground on the day, by making a donation or bid on an England portrait, volunteering or helping to spread the word. An online ‘Cricket United’ supporters' stadium allows fans without tickets to get behind the day by buying a 'virtual seat' and leaving a message of support. The charities are working in close partnership with the ECB, Surrey and their key sponsors.

England captain Alastair Cook said: "It's a bit of fun and the lads enjoyed doing something completely different for charity. We hope the portraits will raise significant funds for three fantastic charities - The Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund - and help improve lives through cricket. 

"Rest assured, we won't be giving up our day jobs, but we'd urge all cricket fans to support the ‘Cricket United’ appeal either through this one-off auction or by helping to turn the Kia Oval blue on 23rd August."

The England women portraits will be auctioned during their Ashes Test at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire on August 11-14.

Edwards said: "I've seen at first-hand the inspirational work of the three charities. Funds raised from the sale of the drawings will help support a range of beneficiaries, from children starting out in the game to cricketers retiring from it. And you never know, they may become a collectors' item one day!"

Twelfth Man, the official England fans community, is encouraging cricket fans to put pen to paper themselves this summer and draw their own portrait of an England player, past or present. The cricket art competition will run throughout the Investec Ashes Series and the best five entries will win a set of prints of the England teams' portraits. Details of the competition, including terms and conditions, can be found at www.ecb.co.uk/twelfthman

To find out more about Cricket United visit www.cricketunited.co.uk

Men's portraits
·         Alastair Cook by Steven Finn
·         James Anderson by Alastair Cook and by Graeme Swann  
·         Ian Bell by Joe Root
·         Johnny Bairstow by Tim Bresnan
·         Stuart Broad by Steven Finn
·         Nick Compton by Monty Panesar
·         Steven Finn by Stuart Broad and by Kevin Pietersen
·         Graham Onions by Chris Tremlett
·         Monty Panesar by Nick Compton and Joe Root
·         Kevin Pietersen by Steven Finn
·         Matt Prior by Graham Onions
·         Joe Root by Tim Bresnan
·         Graeme Swann by James Anderson
·         Jonathan Trott by Chris Woakes
·         Chris Woakes by Joe Root

Women's portraits
·         Tammy Beaumont by Danielle Hazell
·         Katherine Brunt by Jenny Gunn
·         Holly Colvin by Georgia Elwiss
·         Charlotte Edwards by Lydia Greenway
·         Lydia Greenway by Sarah Taylor
·         Jenny Gunn by Holly Colvin
·         Amy Jones by Katherine Brunt
·         Heather Knight by Laura Marsh
·         Laura Marsh by Danni Wyatt
·         Susie Rowe by Heather Knight
·         Anya Shrubsole by Arran Brindle
·         Sarah Taylor by Tammy Beaumont
·         Danni Wyatt by Charlotte Edwards

Watch James Anderson and Graeme Swann drawing each other as the England team raise money for Cricket United

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