The official match ball for the opening ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 game at Cardiff Wales Stadium was delivered in style on Friday 31 May when hundreds of members of the public joined together in a giant catch relay around the city before the ball was presented to the captains of Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
‘The Ultimate Delivery’ was hosted by ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup ambassador, British and Irish Lions and Welsh rugby legend, Shane Williams and covered over 8851 metres. Shane was joined by over 542 fielders from local schools, the Cardiff Devils, Glamorgan Cricket Club, local cricket clubs and travelling cricket supporters and non-cricket fans alike.
It took 1835 throws and catches for the match ball to travel around the city past some of the most iconic city locations. Starting at Cardiff Central Train Station the official match ball went around to the Millennium Stadium, hopped on the water taxi to Cardiff Bay, worked its way through the Urdd Eisteddfod, caught a rickshaw back into town, passed through the arcades, up the High Street, into the Castle and out to Bute Park, crossing the River Taff before making its entrance at Cardiff Wales Stadium.
On arrival at the Stadium members of the public joined Shane Williams at a celebratory event where they tested their cricket skills with Glamorgan County Cricket Club players, got up close and personal with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy and met their city-wide sporting heroes.
Ten year old Harry Topping-Morris, representing Chance to Shine, had the honour of presenting the official match ball to Dimuth Karunaratne, captain of Sri Lanka and Kane Williamson, captain of New Zealand in Cardiff Wales Stadium.
Rugby legend, Shane Williams said, “That was a blast! Thanks to the people of Cardiff, the Cricket World Cup has arrived here in style. The atmosphere was brilliant and it was great fun meeting all these people and celebrating this global event being hosted in Wales. The tournament has got off to a great start on and off the pitch – let the matches begin!”
Chief Executive of Glamorgan County Cricket Club, Hugh Morris, said, “Cardiff has a rich cricketing heritage and the event today was a fantastic celebration of the game in our country ahead of the first of four matches to be played here. We are tremendously proud to be hosting the tournament in Cardiff.”
Director of City & Spectator Experience, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Paul Smith, commented: “The City Celebrations are delivering a real party atmosphere and provide an opportunity for our Host Cities, like Cardiff, to show off their unique culture welcoming sports fans young and old.
“The Ultimate Delivery has connected with the local community and travelling supporters in a truly unique way and we are excited about further celebrations across England and Wales as the tournament unfolds,” he concluded.
Cardiff Council Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “What a fantastic way to welcome the Cricket World Cup to Cardiff! The Welsh capital has a history of hosting global sporting events including international cricket and this tournament looks set to follow suit! I would like to extend a warm Welsh welcome to all the players and visitors to the city.”
For more information about the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, please click here.