The opening ceremony of the 2019 Cricket World Cup took place on Wednesday at The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in London.
Before the ceremony dubbed the “opening party”, the captains of all 10 participating teams got to meet Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom, at the palace.
Prior to the trophy unveiling, a round of two-a-side street cricket match was also played where Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai and former ODI captain Azhar Ali represented Pakistan.
England, whose 50-over side is among the favourites, won the event named the 60-second challenge. Pakistan finished seventh but India finished 10th — a point made by Malala later and which drew loud cheers from the crowd.
At the event, which had more the feel of a street festival than a conventional launch, the official World Cup song titled “Stand By”, sung by LORYN and also featuring Rudimental, was also played.
At the end, Australia’s World Cup winning former captain Michael Clarke and former English spinner Graeme Swann unveiled the World Cup trophy to the crowd, which formally marked the start of the tournament.
The first match of the 2019 World Cup takes place on Thursday between the hosts England and South Africa.