Investec Ashes 2013 July 25, 2013

England players quick on the draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

England's cricketers have been quick on the draw this year - and not just against Australia.

When they have had time to spare they have also been experimenting with portraits of each other in aid of three of English cricket's most prominent charities - and the results are quite striking.

Joe Root, whose 180 was a major factor in England's thumping win against Australia in the second Investec Test at Lord's, has also found time during his Test duties to knock up an appealing sketch of Ian Bell.

As Bell has scored hundreds in both the first two Tests, it is a fair bet that Australia's bowlers must visualise him as slightly more threatening than Root does. He drew on memories of his A level in art at Worksop College to present Bell as a respectful, inoffensive figure with hands placed formally behind his back.

The camaraderie between James Anderson and Graeme Swann has often been seen in mischievous jokes about each other in media conferences. Now that mickey-taking has been captured artistically with characteristically humorous doodles of each other.

Other appealing efforts are Steve Finn's sketch of a Stuart Broad's bowling action, somewhat more languid and unorthodox than Broad might feel it appears in real life, and a mass of facial hair which, naturally enough, turns out to be Matt Prior.

England tested their artistic prowess on the tour of New Zealand earlier in the year. Regretfully, that meant they could not turn their talents on Australia, who might have found cartoons of their lowest moments as they have slipped 2-0 down in the Ashes series a bit hard to take.

Cricket fans - we have shied away from saying art collectors - now have a chance to bid for the original portraits cricket fans will get the chance to bid for the original portraits.

The auction will last for 10 days with all proceeds going to Cricket United - a joint fundraising appeal by The Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund which aims to leave lasting benefits from the 2013 Investec Ashes series.