TUBE passengers were stumped when two teams of sports-mad youngsters leapt on a carriage and started a game of CRICKET.
The underground game was part of an initiative from national cricket charity, Chance to Shine.
Since launching in 2005 and backed by NatWest, Chance to Shine has so far introduced more than four million youngsters to cricket.
The game, umpired by 10-year-old Mahdi from Bethnal Green, came after Chance to Shine conducted research, showing England’s amazing Cricket World Cup win had sparked interest in the sport from children.
More than half of 8- to 16-year-olds said they were excited about cricket and want to learn how to play.
Of these, more girls than boys have set their sights on the game, with 58 per cent wanting to pick up a bat or ball, compared to the slightly lower 53 per cent of lads.
Chance to Shine and NatWest are giving thousands of young people the opportunity to play street cricket, for free, in disadvantaged, urban areas across the country.
Adam Sofroniou from Chance to Shine said: “Street cricket is fast, fun and loud. Our aim is to give all children the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket.
“All you need is a bat, a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape and portable stumps and away you go.
“Literally there is nothing preventing you from taking part, anywhere – and we have shown this on this London tube train.”
The study also found almost a third of 8 to 12-year-olds quizzed said their schools don’t offer the chance for them to play cricket, even though they would like to.
Almost three in 10 are prevented from playing the sport because they don’t know where they can do it while another 23 per cent don’t know the rules.
Ben Stokes was voted the most popular England cricket player, followed by Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.
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Outside London it’s children living in the East Midlands who have become the biggest fans of cricket since the summer, with more than a third wanting to learn how to play.
This compares to just 28 per cent in the West Midlands and 26 per cent in the south west.
The findings come ahead of England’s fifth and final Ashes Test, which takes place at The Oval and sees the England team playing for pride after losing the series.
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