Competitive sports 'boost grades'
Parents believe that playing cricket can help boost a child's grades in the classroom, research suggests.
Competitive sports improve pupils' discipline, motivation and confidence, parents told a study by The Cricket Foundation.
The study also reveals that they think cricket is no longer for the elite, and is attracting more players from different ethnic backgrounds.
Two thirds of parents (66%) believe that team sports like cricket can help a child's academic results, the poll found - a figure that rises to over seven in ten (72%) amongst fathers.
Over a third (35%) said such sports boost confidence, a quarter (25%) said they provide discipline, a fifth (20%) said they increase motivation and around one in ten (11%) said they improve concentration.
The study, based on a survey of almost 1,000 parents of youngsters aged eight to 17 at state schools, also asked about the people that play cricket.
More than four in 10 (42%) of those questioned said they thought the sport had become "less elitist."
And almost half (48%) thought that people from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds now play cricket than they did when they were at school.
The study looked at the educational background of England's World Cup-winning Twenty20 squad and found that slightly more were educated at state schools than privately.
More girls have access to "the gentleman's game", the findings also suggest.