London, Sep 9 (IANS) The third and series-deciding Test between England and South Africa will resume on Saturday after there was no play at the Kennington Oval on Friday following the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II.
A washout on day one, followed by abandonment of play on Friday (Day 2) meant the third and decisive Test between England and South Africa had not witnessed even a single ball being bowled.
England had won the toss and opted to bowl first on day one before rain washed out the day’s play. Saturday’s play will be considered as day three of the Test as South Africa are due to fly home on Tuesday before they tour India and Australia.
“Following the cancellation of Friday’s cricket fixtures as a mark of respect on the announcement of her death, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that play will resume from Saturday including international, domestic, and recreational fixtures. The decision has been taken after consultation with DCMS and in line with Official National Mourning guidance,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.
“This means the Men’s Test match between England and South Africa will begin at The Oval and the Women’s T20I match between England and India will also go ahead at the Riverside in Durham. The scheduled match between England and Sri Lanka Men’s U19 along with recreational cricket fixtures will also take place as planned,” it added.
The ECB also mentioned that there will be a minute’s silence observed before each match and that all players and coaches will be wearing black armbands.
“Before each match, a minute’s silence will be observed followed by the national anthem. All players and coaches will wear black armbands. Branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying cricket’s respects to The Queen,” it said.
The series is currently tied 1-1 and the Oval Test is a crucial one for South Africa in particular with ICC World Test Championship points at stake. South Africa were usurped from the top spot of the standings after the loss to England in the second Test.
Meanwhile, England are seventh in the standings after eight losses and six wins. The WTC table is currently topped by Australia, which boasts of a win percentage of 70 percent.
England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson
South Africa: Dean Elgar (c), Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje