Source AP ©

England's Monty Panesar opens new scheme to get children in cities to play cricket

Monty Panesar, an English spin bowler, suggests that cricket should also be played for pleasure.

"You have to try and be competitive, but play the game in the right spirit," Panesar said Monday at the opening of a new scheme to get children in cities to play cricket.

England plays India in the third test starting Thursday after a stormy second test at The Oval when India tailender Zaheer Khan accused England's fielders of throwing candy at him. India bowler Sree Santh was also fined 50 percent of his match fee after barging England captain Michael Vaughan.

India won the test, and leads the three-match series 1-0.

Panesar bowled Monday to around 40 children, aged 7-12, who hit the tennis ball with plastic bats.

Organizers hope the "Urban Cricket" arena in Brixton, south London, will keep bored children out of trouble with police - and maybe also produce future cricketers.

"We're trying to help at grass-roots level, trying to get more people involved in cricket," Panesar said. "Hopefully there could be the next Andrew Flintoff or Kevin Pietersen."

Similar schemes will be started in Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle and Cardiff, Wales.

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