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Cricket United under a banner of blue

The Oval was turned blue as players, fans, broadcasters and sponsors came together on 22nd August for Cricket United Day to improve lives through cricket.

Even the sky played its part providing the perfect backdrop for the Cricket United flag to fly on top of the pavilion to mark the start of the day.

Cricket United Day

Cricket United Day is getting bigger and bluer every year. Beneficiary Shakeel Ahmed summed up the day, describing his on-pitch experience as “a dream come true!”

Cricket United Day would like to thank everyone who has helped to make it such a success in 2015.

Special thanks goes to England and Wales Cricket Board and Surrey Cricket Club who helped turn the dream into a reality. Thank you!

Help improve lives through cricket by texting CRICKET’ to 70123 to donate £5.

Blue stumps and bails were used for the first time in an England home Test match, both Australia and England entered the field of play together through a Cricket United guard of honour, and then handed specially designed blue caps and baggies to charity beneficiaries Arpit Patel (Lord's Taverners), Shakeel Ahmed (Chance To Shine) and Jamie Hood (PCA Benevolent Fund).

Sporting commentators also donned fetching blue suits courtesy of McCann Bespoke and their TM Lewin ties to show their support.

Both Australia and England took part in other fund-raising activities before and after the day.

England players past and present drew pictures of their team-mates, predecessors and successors with Andrew Flintoff's picture depicting Joe Root as a baby at the crease fetching £8,000.

Australian fans raised £500 during a pre-game evening dinner while umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena also got into the swing of things by wearing blue ribbons around their hats.

Thousands of fans came dressed in blue and with ground sponsor's producing blue-themed versions of their branding, a ring of blue was created.

Waitrose went from green to blue and donated £100 for every boundary scored on the day and blue Investec-branded four and six cards were brandished by spectators when they were hit.

Meanwhile, Cricket United ambassadors Mark Butcher, Matthew Hoggard, Adam Hollioake, Davina McCall, Michael Vaughan and Lucy Verasamy entertained fans around the ground as volunteers rattled buckets and sold raffle tickets.

Elsewhere, teams playing in the Surrey Ryman League took part in a 'Blue Bails Day' with the same Cricket United theme on display with blue bails, blue hats and fund-raising activities. Leatherhead Cricket Club also won a visit from Ali Brown after they won a Blue Bails Day prize draw.

© Cricket World 2015