The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 opened in style on the most famous street in the world with a host of cricket legends, alongside global dignitaries, celebrities and pop stars.
Hosted by ex-England star Freddie Flintoff, actress/singer Shibani Dandekar and presenter Paddy McGuinness, the event was watched by millions around the world, with a live broadcast on Sky TV, in addition to the 5,000 fans that joined in the free ticketed party on The Mall.
All competing nations were represented in a ten-team celebrity street Cricket World Cup challenge, with appearances from some of the very best cricket legends in the game.
Kevin Pietersen, Sir Vivian Richards, Jacques Kallis and Anil Kumble partnered with cricket fan celebrities including Pakistani activist and youngest-ever Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, Wimbledon winner Pat Cash, champion sprinter Johan Blake, acclaimed Indian actor and director Farhan Akhtar, All Black Sean Fitzpatrick, reality TV star Chris Hughes and footballer Steven Pienaar.
The ten #CWC19 captains greeted the ticket ballot-winning fans in the crowd after meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier in the day.
The 100-day Trophy Tour finale saw CWC15-winning Australian captain Michael Clarke, with the support of #CWCTrophyTour ambassador Graeme Swann, hand the trophy over to commence the tournament.
The show closed with a live performance of the Official Tournament Song, ‘Stand by’, with LORYN and Rudimental, alongside the Cricket World Cup trophy with Buckingham Palace creating an unforgettable backdrop.
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 Managing Director Steve Elworthy said: “Today we saw a remarkable party to open this World Cup in style. Across the last two years, we have continually reached out to new audiences to grow the game; women, children, sport-loving families, big event fans, while engaging with the diverse and passionate cricket fans already in this country.
"The tournament is shaping up to be the greatest ever cricket celebration and a record-breaking World Cup and we want to inspire future generations of fans in this country and around the world. This party encapsulates the atmosphere that we know the fans will bring to the World Cup. Now we look forward to the party continuing for six weeks as the best ten teams in the world battle for the ultimate prize in one-day cricket!”