International Cricket resumed after a four-month coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday as England & West Indies faced took a knee under the grey skies in Southampton.
Only 82 minutes game was possible on the first day due to sudden drizzles & bad light interruptions in Britain. England’s stand-in Captain Ben Stokes won the toss after bad weather led the morning session got completely washed out. The players gathered in a semi-circle on the pitch before the game got started to observe a minute’s silence in the memory of the victims of the coronavirus and Everton Weekes, who died last week at the age of 95.
Then they bowed to one knee in support of the Black Likes Matter Campaign, as there was a worldwide agitation due to the death of George Floyd in the US in the month of May. West Indies players wore black gloves on their right hands in an echo of the “Black Power” protests made famous by US athletes at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Both teams are wearing Black Lives Matters logo on their shirts in order to show their solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter” Campaign. All the Test Matches will take place behind closed doors at bio-secure grounds with the first match being held in Ageas Bowl & the other two at Old Trafford respectively.
As the game started, England lost his opener, Dom Sibley, very early just on the 10th ball as he was bowled for a duck by Shannon Gabriel after not playing the shot. England lost their first wicket at zero however they reached 35 runs for one wicket after two rain breaks, bad lights an early tea break though floodlights were on to manage the bad light effect.
Opener Rory Burns was 20 not out and Joe Denly 14 not out when play was finally abandoned for the day at 6:11 pm. Stokes who is leading England on behalf of its original captain Joe Root said, “I know everybody has been craving this, certainly from a players’ point of view but I also think from a spectators’ and fans’ view,” he said on Tuesday. “This is a massive occasion for a lot of people.”
He further stated that the lack of crowd will not let the standards of England get down. “We know we have that responsibility on our shoulders, to go out and do justice for all those people,” he added.
Players and officials are staying at on-site hotels to stop the spread of COVID-19 and bowlers are not allowed to use saliva to shine the ball as part of ICC’s strict measures to control the havoc of coronavirus.