LONDON: The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 got underway on Thursday at The Oval, where before hosts England played South Africa, the Duke of Sussex delivered his opening speech in front of a near full house.

Addressing the fans gathered at The Oval before the opening game, Prince Harry said: “Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, fans here and around the world, welcome to the Oval for the opening game of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

“The first ever cricket World Cup took place in England in 1975 and I’m delighted that the UK will once again play host to this wonderful global sporting event featuring ten incredible teams who, thanks to the UK’s cultural diversity, will feel as though they are competing in front of a home crowd every time they take to the field.

“Cities across England and Wales will come alive over the next six weeks as World Cup fever sweeps the nation once more and I am sure that the players will show their appreciation with some fantastic performances and great sportsmanship.

Good luck to all of the teams and thank you to everyone who has played a part in making this tournament happen.

Here’s to a brilliant six weeks of sport. Trust me, you won’t want to miss any of it.

I am now honoured to declare the ICC Mens Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales – open!”

Prince Harry spent approximately two hours at The Oval before he exited the ground at 11:45 am local time.

(By Jamie Alter)