The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows, performed an exhilarating flypast over Trent Bridge today to mark the start of the Investec Ashes Series, just moments before Alastair Cook faced the first ball of the series.
Before the flypast, the ceremony began with a pyrotechnics show along with a guard of honour, the Coldstream Guards military band, and opera singer Lesley Garrett who sang the national anthems.
Flying the Hawk aircraft at the front of the nine-jet formation over Trent Bridge was Red 1 - Squadron Leader Jim Turner, Team Leader of The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows - in its 49th display season.
Squadron Leader Turner said: "It was a huge honour for the team to fly over Trent Bridge and help mark the start of the 2013 Investec Ashes Series.
"The Ashes is a key event not just in cricket terms but in the sporting calendar and, as such, we were delighted to mark this national occasion and celebrate what will hopefully be a memorable series.
"The team was also very pleased to show its strong support for England. Indeed, we're extremely proud of the successes and what the players have achieved in recent years.
"As with the Red Arrows, the squad is a wonderful example of the importance of teamwork and preparation, operating at the highest level and demonstrating excellence in their respective field."
David Collier, Chief Executive of the England & Wales Cricket Board, said: "As the public face of the RAF, the Red Arrows are ambassadors of Great Britain. It was an absolute honour to have them fly over Trent Bridge to mark the beginning of this fantastic sporting occasion, and on behalf of the many thousands of fans here today - I would like to publicly thank them for their wonderful display today."