The Duke of Sussex promised on the opening day of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 that England and Wales would provide a celebration of cultural diversity – and the tournament has more than lived up to the promise.
In his inspiring opening address at The Oval, The Duke of Sussex said that ‘teams would feel as though they were playing in front of a home crowd every time they take to the field’.
Players, coaches, administrators and commentators alike have rejoiced at the most diverse ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in history – with fans providing a blaze of colour and a cacophony of noise at the packed matches in the Group Stages and semi-finals.
And when hosts England take on New Zealand in the final at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s, in front of fans representing all ten competing sides – and a further 39 countries around the world – the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 will receive a fitting and colourful finale to one of the greatest tournaments in history.
18 per cent of tickets for the tournament were sold overseas and supporters have been flying in from all corners of the globe to support their team and be part of a World Cup – something reflected by the fact that the CWC received over 4 million ticket applications from across 157 different countries.
The South Asian communities have come out in huge numbers with 324,000 tickets sold to fans supporting those teams with 50 per cent of the public sales going to fans of teams other than the hosts, England.
Encouragingly for the growth of cricket, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, has not only tapped into the South Asian fans but also provided the game in England and Wales with a new audience with over 35 per cent of ticket buyers from the UK having not purchased cricket tickets in England and Wales before the tournament.
Across 11 first class host venues 800,000 fans have watched the drama of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 unfold in full stadiums, providing great atmospheres for the world’s best players to thrill the massive crowds. The tournament has sold over 95 per cent of tickets – which is the highest percentage of tickets sold across all editions of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Away from the stadiums fans around the world have been soaking up the action across digital platforms with over 2.6 billion video views of World Cup content. Viewing figures records have also been shattered with Sky Television boasting their highest audience numbers for ODI cricket in over a decade. Free-to-air coverage for the final means that broadcasting figures are set to break even more records when both sides have the opportunity to win the tournament for the first time.
In host cities over 230,000 fans have attended the Official Fanzones and another huge day is to be expected when World Cup fever takes over Trafalgar Square to live screen the final.
Steve Elworthy, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Tournament Director, said: “When we started planning the tournament in 2014 we set out an ambition to be one of the most inclusive and diverse World Cups in the history of the event – and we have delivered.”
‘We have lived up to the prediction of the Duke of Sussex and if you ask the players they will all agree that they have felt the warmth of the support of their ‘home crowds’ during this event.
‘We have also widened the fan base in the UK for the game and attracted a younger and more inclusive audience with more than 9 per cent under 16 and 150,000 females attending, this tournament has ticked every box – full houses, diverse crowds and wonderful entertainment.
‘When the trophy is lifted at Lord’s tomorrow the winners can declare themselves worthy champions and the tournament can proudly claim to be the greatest cricket celebration in history.”
Courtesy : ICC