With an abundance of fun-filled activities, the Nottingham Fanzone was a huge hit with the public as over 70,000 fans attending over a four-day period at the weekend.
Located in the city’s Old Market Square and free to enter, visitors have enjoyed exciting street cricket activities, live music, entertainment and food and drink from around the globe. There have also been screenings of all World Cup matches over the past four days, with fans of all competing nations able to celebrate the World Cup together.
Special guests at the Fanzone included Sir Vivian Richards, who spent an hour-long session in the Street Cricket cage facing bowling from all comers. Jamaican track star Yohan Blake set the record on the Street Sprint activation and Nottinghamshire CCC players held cricket skills clinics for attending children.
Track star Yohan Blake set the record on the Street Sprint activation in Nottingham
The Nottingham Fanzone was planned to coincide with the half-term school holidays, giving the World Cup the chance to engage with as many people as possible on the opening weekend of tournament.
There have also been spectacular events in Cardiff and Bristol, with the local communities taking part in some unique activations to celebrate the arrival of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
On Friday 31 May, ‘The Ultimate Delivery’ in Cardiff took place, as the official match ball for Cardiff Wales Stadium’s opening game was delivered in style as hundreds of fielders joined together in a giant catch relay around the city.
‘The Ultimate Delivery’ was hosted by Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams
‘The Ultimate Delivery’ was hosted by Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams and covered over 8,851 metres and all the key landmarks of Cardiff. There were 542 fielders from local schools and cricket clubs, as well as Cardiff natives from all walks of life including the police, Welsh guards, Cardiff Devils ice hockey players and Glamorgan CCC cricketers.
After a mammoth 1,835 throws and catches, the match ball was presented to the captains of New Zealand and Sri Lanka on the pitch at the Cardiff Wales Stadium.
The City Celebrations then continued on Saturday just across the River Severn in Bristol, as an impressive 4-metre high giant cricketer was unveiled in Millennium Square. The giant cricketer was part of the ‘Take Part in Giant Art’ programme, which saw members of the public paint sections of the statue in the colours of the ten competing nations over the previous weekend. The finished sculpture was unveiled in the city’s Millennium Square on the morning of Bristol’s first World Cup match.
An impressive 4-metre high giant cricketer was unveiled in Bristol
The unveiling was supported by Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, as well as Jemel One Five, a Bristolian YouTube star, and comedian Mark Watson, who also attended to partake in the day’s activities.
As well as the unveiling of the statue, there was a live screening of Afghanistan v Australia in Millennium Square alongside cricket games and activities, with over 5,000 people taking part over the two weekends of activity in Bristol.
Director of City & Spectator Experience at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, Paul Smith, commented: “The celebrations in these cities for the Cricket World Cup have been fantastic, the sheer numbers coming to visit these activations has shown the appetite the public have for this tournament, and they’ve all been incredible atmospheres.
“It was big incentive for us to get the whole country joining this global sporting event, and we can’t wait to take them to all the other host cities.’’
Free-to-enter Fanzones will be taking place across the whole tournament, with the next hosted in Taunton from 8-9 June followed by Southampton and Manchester between 14-16 June.