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Dramatic finale of Cricket World Cup can inspire a generation of new players

News   •   Jul 15, 2019 15:42 BST

Children were welcomed onto the outfield at the Kia Oval on Monday to celebrate England's success

The nation was spoilt with a stellar line up of sport this weekend.

We all remember Super Saturday in 2012, the day Team GB secured three Olympic gold medals on the athletics track at a home Games, but yesterday's ‘Super Sunday’ was more than a match in terms of sporting drama.

Sunday saw England's netball side come out on top in the first group stage of the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, and British Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton secure a record sixth British Grand Prix victory.

Those glued to their TV screens were then torn between the longest ever Wimbledon tennis final, which saw Novak Djokovic defeat Roger Federer in a five-hour marathon match, and the Cricket World Cup. 

History was made at SW19 and in St John's Wood as Djokovic won a fifth set tie-break to triumph while, for the first time in history, England's cricketers were crowned world champions after edging out New Zealand at Lord's

After an incredible final - following a tied match and a tied Super Over, England were victorious based on most boundaries hit - the tournament hosts lifted the trophy for the first time.

A tournament on home soil was already billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to grow the sport of cricket and with England's success, the profile of the sport could be taken to even greater heights.

In the lead up to England's semi-final against Australia, national governing body the England and Wales Cricket Board were already highlighting the impact that the tournament has had in inspiring young people.

They reported that over one million children aged five to 12 have connected with the sport since the tournament begun. A figure which will surely rise following England's dramatic victory.

The ECB also announced that the tournament saw more than 210,000 people buy a ticket to attend a One-Day International for the first time while BBC Sport’s live text page covering the drama on Sunday attracted 39.7m views.

It is hoped that boys and girls will be picking up a bat and ball for years to come with the ECB's All Stars Cricket programme for five to eight-year-olds a key starting point to building on the momentum of England's success.

There was little time to waste as hundreds of youngsters were invited to the Kia Oval on Monday morning to play on the outfield of Surrey's home ground and meet and greet some of the triumphant England players.

Such special days will hopefully live long in the memory of those involved and, it is hoped, inspire them to form a long-term healthy and active habit for life.

Gareth Smith, Engagement Manager - Major Sports Events at London Sport said:

“The thrilling climax of the Cricket World Cup – broadcast free-to-air by Sky Sports and Channel 4 – will hopefully have caught the attention of young boys and girls all over London.

“The ECB has worked extremely hard to use the Cricket World Cup to reach young people who have not previously played the sport and we hope this will have a lasting impact for Londoners.

“It’s great that we’re able to support the ECB to use this fantastic tournament to showcase sport and physical activity to young people and we must work now to ensure it has a lasting impact.”

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