Most diversified World Cup ever for cricket

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The ICC World Cup 2019 as promised by the Duke of Sussex on the Opening Day of the tournament has become the most diversified cricket event ever.

Fans from 157 countries visited England and Wales for the 48-match competition across 11 venues with sport lovers from South Asia alone accounting for 320,000 tickets, ICC has confirmed in a Press release.

The Duke of Sussed in his inspiring opening address at The Ova has promised that “teams would feel as though they were playing in front of a home crowd every time they take to the field”.

True to his promise, galleries thronged by supporters from across the world created an impression as if the teams’ were playing at their home grounds. The India-England match is one bright example when supporters of Virat Kohli and Co had outnumbered the home team fans.

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.

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The World Cup 2019 received a fitting and colourful finale on Sunday (July 14) when hosts England prevailed over New Zealand in the thrilling encounter which had resulted tied twice – after regulation 50-50 overs and the Super Over at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s, in front of fans representing all ten competing sides. There were cricket lovers from further 39 countries around the world.

Tournament’s 18% tickets were sold overseas and supporters have flown 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.

Before the final on Sunday, July 14, across 11 first class host venues 800,000 fans have watched the Cricket World Cup 2019, 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 meant 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 Fan zones and another bid day during the Final with live screening at London’s Trafalgar Square.

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.

“… The tournament can proudly claim to be the greatest cricket celebration in history.”

Fittingly so, when the home for the first time lifted the ICC World Cup trophy on late Sunday Evening after the match that didn’t get a decisive score even after the Super Over, cricket was the real winner.

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