Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon brings Cricket World Cup to Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon knows international cricket can be a rollercoaster ride.

Saturday, 6th April 2019, 1:30 pm
The Cricket World Cup came to Blackpool earlier this week

The Leicestershire coach used all his experience of hand-eye coordination at high speed as he completed a challenge on the Icon rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach alongside YouTuber Jemel One Five.

They were tasked with drawing the Cricket World Cup while travelling on the ride at speeds of up to 80mph at the historic theme park.

It was all part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, Driven by Nissan, ahead of the tournament in England Wales this summer.

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Despite all the twists, turns and loops both managed to complete their drawings of the trophy – which 10 teams will do battle for when the tournament begins on May 30 with England against South Africa.

Nixon, who played 19 one day internationals, is relishing the tournament coming to these shores.

“The World Cup is going to be amazing,” he said.

“The whole world is coming here, and England have got a real chance. Fans are ready to fill the stadiums as the players give it their all.

“Anyone can beat anyone on their day in 50-over cricket. It’s so exciting.”

The trophy has recently toured the North West and played a prominent role in the challenge, with Nixon and Jemel trying to outdo each other with their illustrations.

Fans stopped for pictures while the pair were at the Pleasure Beach as anticipation continues to build before the tournament.

Both loved the experienced but admitted the drawing was challenging because of the speed and intensity of the £16.25m ride.

Jemel, from Bristol, said: “The challenge was tough when you were trying to draw while twisting. If you’re not twisting you’re spiralling but it was a lot of fun.

“I was terrified when we walked up having not been on a ride in years.

“Having to draw the trophy and do the challenge was terrifying but I don’t steer away from a challenge, so I had to do it.”

Nixon added: “I was holding onto the board and pen for dear life during the challenge.

“When you are at the top of the ride looking over the top of Blackpool and you can see the sea in the distance, with your heart going like a rocket and your stomach feels crazy and you’re trying to wait for an opportunity to draw.”

ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour, driven by Nissan, commences a 100-day tour of England and Wales and will be at over 100 locations and events before arriving back in London ready for the opening match on May 30.