Every run Australia captain Ricky Ponting scores in the upcoming Ashes cricket series in England will be worth money to children's cancer charities.
Ponting launched the "Run Ricky Run" campaign at a school in Sydney Harbour's north shore district on Tuesday, outlining his dual aims for run scoring in England.
As the senior batsman he's intent on playing a leading role in retaining the Ashes for Australia. As a fundraiser, he wants every run to count for a cause.
He gave the example of how a person contributing 25 cents for every run he scored would end up donating 125 Australian dollars ($96) to the Ponting Foundation if he scored 500 runs in the series. "Every run I score in the Ashes tests will trigger a donation from the Foundation to one of its beneficiary charities and 100 per cent of the proceeds raised will be distributed to beneficiaries," he said. "There's a fair bit riding on me getting runs in England, which I wouldn't have any other way. "Run Ricky Run provides a direct link between the willingness of the Australian public to donate money to a fantastic cause and my ability to make runs for Australia."
Australia lost the Ashes on its last tour to England in 2005 but won back the old urn _ the ultimate symbol of Anglo-Australian rivalry _ in 2006-07.
The first test of the series starts July 8 at Cardiff, with Australia selectors due to announce the full squad on Wednesday. Ponting listed his previous Ashes series tallies on the campaign website for those interested in donating, among them he scored 576 in the last series when Australia won back the Ashes and 359 in England in 2005.
Overall, the 34-year-old Ponting averages 48.24 per innings, including seven centuries, in 26 previous Ashes test matches. That is lower than his career average of 56.2 and 37 centuries in 131 test matches.