The Oval Test was postponed on Friday in honor of Queen Elizabeth II. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said that the game will continue from tomorrow.
The ECB said it had decided to go ahead with the game out of respect for Rani’s “extraordinary life and service”. Earlier, the second day of the series-deciding Oval Test on Friday was postponed in Rani’s honour. It was said that the future of this test will be decided later. The third Test of the series is expected to finally start on Saturday, but the ECB is in talks again after suspending the English Premier League. Then comes the final decision.
The two teams played the last test yesterday with a 1-1 draw. The entire first day of the Test on Thursday was washed away by rain. The ECB said no additional days were being added because South Africa did not agree. As a result, the game will be played for three more days.
England Test captain Ben Stokes, however, tweeted his intention to continue playing in the meantime. He wrote, ‘She (Rani) loved sports. It will be an honor to play in his memory.
There is currently no direct guidance from the British government regarding the suspension of games or such events. However, out of respect for Queen Elizabeth, all Premier League matches have been suspended.
Cricket is walking on a different path. England’s T20 series against India’s women’s team, England’s U-19 series against Sri Lanka’s U-19 team were also suspended along with the Oval Test. ECB has said that Rani will be honored separately in each match. A minute’s silence will be observed after the national anthem, players and coaches will wear black armbands and special messages in honor of the Queen will be displayed on billboards, they said.
From 1960 to 2013, Queen Elizabeth used to go to the field to watch cricket. The Ashes was renamed in 1977 to mark his 25th anniversary on the throne. In 2005, the Queen invited England’s Ashes-winning boys’ and girls’ teams to Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth also invited the captains of the 10 teams that participated in the World Cup in 2019 and wished her well.
Earlier, England was playing Tests in India in 1952 when King George V died. The second day of the Chennai Test was also a ‘rest day’. They continued to play the service as well, going into the fourth day to get India’s first win in this edition.