English cricket says farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

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The Oval has known many ‘departures’ given it often stages the last Test of an English cricket season, with Australia great Don Bradman and former England captain Alastair Cook taking their leave of the international stage at the ground.

But the south London venue fell silent on Satur-day before the start of the third day’s play in the third Test between England and South Africa for a fare-well of a very different sort as the ground paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

The death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch at the age of 96 on Thursday had led the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to abandon Friday’s play.

And with Thursday’s opening day washed out, it meant what should have been a five-day match had now been reduced to a three-day game.

Unlike their counterparts at English football’s Premier League, who have suspended their fixtures this weekend, the ECB decided to resume play Sat-urday.

– ‘Incredible inspiration’ – “It’s been very sad news for not only the nation but the world with the Queen’s passing,” England captain Ben Stokes told Sky Sports before play resumed.

“She was someone who dedicated her life to the nation, someone that we take incredible inspiration from and we are honoured to be able to walk out on the field in memory of the Queen.”

The all-rounder added: “We know how much the Queen loved this sport, and the show must go on. I’m sure she’ll be looking down on all the sport that’s still going ahead over this weekend and that we’re going out there in her honour. I’m very pleased and proud we can do that.”

As spectators took their seats at the Oval, they would have noticed a few changes, with the usual advertising signs on the perimeter hoardings replaced by black and white messages marking the death of the Queen.—APP

 

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