Pupils from Sir John Barrow School in Ulverston were able to walk out alongside some of the best cricketers on the planet as mascots during the World Cup match between West Indies and Sri Lanka.

A group of 30, along with a few teachers, made the two hour-plus journey to Chester-le-Street, Durham, on July 1 and they witnessed a terrific contest between two teams that already knew they couldn’t qualify for the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka eventually ran out winners after the Windies came within 23 runs of their 338-6, with one of the stars on show, Lasith Malinga, taking three wickets.

Malinga was one of the players the children all wanted to walk out with, with West Indies opener Chris Gayle and their captain Jason Holder also amongst the most popular figures.

On how the opportunity came about, Mr Maher, who organised the trip, said: “We’ve got 30 very keen kids at the cricket club in the town and the second the World Cup started, the rumours started flying about that kids would be able to go and play.

“I was told by a friend at Chance To Shine to not miss this chance, get online and get it booked.

“I applied for a few matches and I was successful in the West Indies-Sri Lanka one and that was a godsend because the kids were able to go out as ‘anthem kids’, which they wouldn’t have been able to do in other games.

“They were able to play mini games during the interval and it was just down the to recommendation of ‘go here and apply.’

Once they arrived at the ground, the kids were taken through rehearsals of what they had to do before walking out with the two teams and standing in front of them during their respective national anthems.

Mr Maher said: “After a couple of hours of watching Sri Lanka bat, we went off and played mini games in front of the crowd and that for me was the best bit, and all the parents who went agreed too.

“That was fantastic and they were hitting balls straight into the crowd, as you would do, just as though they were hitting sixes for half an hour.

“I think many would say their favourite part was the Mexican wave that came our way.”