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PM sets sights on more success

David Cameron has set his sights on fresh British sporting success in "the big one" - as England's cricketers attempt to retain the Ashes.

The Prime Minister, who cheered on Andy Murray to Wimbledon victory and entertained the tennis ace at a Downing Street reception, sent a good luck message to Alastair Cook's team ahead of the first Test against Australia.

England cricket fans will hope that the "Curse of Cameron" - which has resulted in failure for British sporting hopes in the past - has been laid to rest following Murray's triumph in SW19 which was watched from the Royal Box by the Prime Minister.

Cook will lead England against Australia at Trent Bridge in Nottingham in the first of five Tests, with the home team favourites to retain the Ashes. In a message released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Mr Cameron offered "the best of luck from everyone at Downing Street to Alastair Cook and the boys".

Mr Cameron said 2013 was a "special year for English cricket".

"Having hosted the ICC Champions Trophy, it is now time for the big one: the Ashes", he said.

"Now whether you remember Botham and Willis at Headingley, like I do, or Kevin Pietersen's defiant stance at the Oval in 2005 - I remember where I was when that happened - nothing captures the public's imagination quite like a test match against Australia.

"The nation's got high hopes. We're right behind the team, and I'm sure they're going to rise to the occasion. So best of luck from everyone at Downing Street to Alastair Cook and the boys."

In recent times a string of stars have seen their hopes of sporting glory fade following endorsement from the Tory leader.

The Prime Minister sent his best wishes to Britain's number one female player Laura Robson, 19, shortly before her fourth-round exit at Wimbledon. Last summer he arrived at Wimbledon for the finals, where Murray was defeated by Roger Federer, and he followed this with a series of visits to Olympic events where British medal hopefuls lost out.

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