London: The 2019 ICC World Cup opening ceremony saw the likes of former Indian skipper Anil Kumble and Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar representing India in a game of gully cricket.
A small game of cricket was held, called the 60-second challenge, in which the teams (one cricket legend and one celebrity) of the 10 participating teams took part. The aim of the game was to score as many runs as possible in the given sixty seconds as former Australia batsman David Boon standing in as the umpire. Cricketing legends like Viv Richards, Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee, Kevin Pietersen were part of the game.
India (represented by Anil Kumble and Farhan Akhtar) managed to score the least runs among the 10 teams, as they accumulated only 19 runs from their 60 seconds.
England (represented by Kevin Pietersen and Chris Hughes of Love Island fame) emerged the winners with a total score of 74, pipped Australia’s Brett Lee and Pat Cash (a former Tennis player), who scored a total of 69 runs.
The Pakistan team of noble peace prize winner of Malala Yousufzai and Azhar Ali scored a total of 38 runs, whereas the Bangladesh pair of Abdur Razzaq and actress Jaya Hasan put up the second lowest total of 22. The West Indies were represented by Viv Richards and Olympian sprinter Yohan Blake, who managed a decent score of 47.
The full scores of the all the 10 teams -
Sri Lanka - 43
West Indies - 47
Bangladesh - 22
Australia - 69
New Zealand - 32
South Africa - 48
India - 19
England - 74
During the game, Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai asked young women to take up cricket while citing the example of the Pakistan's women cricket team captain Sana Mir.
"These role models are inspiring women to believe in themselves that they are capable of anything. Women should engage more in sports and we all have to contribute in that," Malala said.
Former World Cup-winning captain of Australia Michael Clarke, who won the 2015 edition, officially handed over the World Cup Trophy.
"Very special. Some of the fondest memories of my career is playing in a World Cup, so to win it in 2015 is very special. Last three or four months has been outstanding, so they're in for a terrific tournament," said as he put the World Cup trophy on the stage in front of the Buckingham Palace.