London:Cricket can make people better behaved and more cooperative, according to research in Britain published on Tuesday, which might surprise fans following the current Ashes series.
The study from Loughborough University in central England looked at the impact of StreetChance, a scheme which encourages young people in tough inner city areas of London to play cricket.
It found that the game helped them to boost confidence, improve communication and negotiation skills and take responsibility for decision-making, as well as improving their maths and team work.
The StreetChance scheme has been running for a year amd has involved around 7,000 young people. Report co-author Ruth Jeanes said it was having "positive benefits" and that the sessions had "motivated young people".
The final and deciding Test match in the Ashes series between England and Australia gets under way at London's Oval from Thursday.
The Australians are traditionally renowned for their verbal aggression towards opposition batsmen, known as "sledging".