Wednesday 29 May 2019 11:35 PM UTC
LONDON May 30: Virat Kohli, who is set to lead India for the first time in a 50-over World Cup, met Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, along with other skippers ahead of World Cup 2019 opening party at The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace in central London, on Wednesday.
“Captains including @Eoin16 and @imVkohli met Her Majesty and His Royal Highness before joining a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace,” The Royal Family said in a tweet along with a picture of Queen Elizabeth with captain Virat Kohli and England’s Eoin Morgan.
The tournament will feature the world’s top ten teams, nine of whom are from the Commonwealth: Australia, Bangladesh, England??????, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
The World Cup 2019, to be contested in a round-robin format, will begin on Thursday with hosts England taking on South Africa at Kennington Oval, London.
After having suffered a first-round exit in the 2015 edition of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, England have improved tremendously in last few years and shown the world what they are capable of.
In their run-up to hosting the showpiece ICC event, England climbed to the top of the One-day International (ODI) rankings and scored record highest ODI total twice, which now stands at 481 for six.
Batting has been the basis of England’s ODI rejuvenation, with Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Morgan and the dynamic Jos Buttler among a top seven who can all change the course of an innings in the blink of an eye.
Ahead of the World Cup opener, captain Morgan said winning a home World Cup could do wonders for cricket in the sport’s birthplace as he prepares to lead his team in their tournament opener against South Africa.
“It would mean a huge amount. The World Cup alone raises the profile of the game and is a platform for every young kid in this country to have a hero or have the inspiration to pick up a ball or a bat,” Morgan told reporters at the Oval on Wednesday.
“To go on and win it, I couldn’t imagine what that would do,” the former Ireland batsman added.
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