• Australia in England 2012-13

Ashes countdown begins at Lord's

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Silver urns will be used to promote the Ashes and good sportsmanship in schools © PA Photos
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With 100 days to go until the London Olympics, Seb Coe was planting trees at Kew Gardens, Weymouth council were building sandcastles and the London 2012 motto "inspire a generation" was born.

Having arrived at the same landmark ahead of this summer's Ashes, MCC will be hoping one of the world's most iconic series can also enthuse a new crop of cricketers.

As a reminder of what is to come this summer and to launch Chance to Shine's campaign to promote good sportsmanship in schools, the Lord's outfield was given the Art Attack treatment, minus Neil Buchanan, as schoolchildren helped create a giant Ashes urn.

A total of 1,000 silver urns were used to balloon the smallest trophy in world sport to a giant 30 x 15 metre glittering outline on the Lord's turf as the countdown to July 10 began, when the opening Ashes Test will take place at Trent Bridge.

The new campaign will see 1,500 replica urns going around the country to 4,500 state schools where Chance to Shine cricket coaches will deliver hundreds of MCC Spirit of Cricket assemblies and lessons in good sportsmanship to around 400,000 children.

"It may feel more like winter outside than summer but every cloud has a silver lining: there are just 100 days to go until the start of the Ashes," Chance to Shine chief executive Wasim Khan, said. "And this summer there will not just be one Ashes series taking place but hundreds of them in schools up and down the country, thanks to our partnership with MCC.

"We'll be using these replicas of the famous urn to inspire children to take up the game and to teach them about MCC's Spirit of Cricket message: 'Play hard, play fair'."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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