Cricket is still a civilizing influence on the people that play it, as it helps to bring down racial barriers, reconnect previously marginalised pupils with education, and improves school discipline.
These are the findings of an evaluation by researchers at Loughborough University into StreetChance - a three-year project aimed at bringing cricket into disadvantaged communities.
The scheme has only been operating in 10 London boroughs and reached about 7,000 schoolchildren, two-thirds of whom are from ethnic minority groups.
It will be extended to other communities next year including Birmingham and Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, The Independent reports.
Today's report says weekly StreetChance sessions have "provided a diversionary activity for youngsters and prevented them from 'hanging about' the streets or getting bored at home".