England vs South Africa: Moving tributes paid to Queen as ‘God Save the King’ sung at The Oval


A minute’s silence was held and the first performance of ‘God Save the King’ at a sporting event in over 70 years was sung as the third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval finally started on Saturday morning.

The series decider’s first day was washed away by rain on Thursday, before news of QueenElizabeth II’s death later that evening saw Friday’s play postponed.

After discussions with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Friday morning, sports have been advised that the decision whether or not to cancel fixtures is at their individual discretion, with no obligation to do so. included in official bereavement guidelines.

While football has canceled all local Premier League matches, cricket, along with most other sports, has opted to return to action.

Tributes were paid to the Queen ahead of England’s start against South Africa on Saturday

/ Getty Images

A minute’s silence was held, with sold-out crowds encouraged to get to their seats early to join in the tributes, while billboards and large screens were blacked out and replaced with messages honoring the queen.

With play yet to start in the match, the two countries’ anthems were then sung by English opera star Laura Wright as the players lined up outside the pavilion after entering the pitch by a military honor guard. “God Save the King” was followed by a long, impromptu standing ovation.

England captain Ben Stokes, who won the draw on Thursday and opted to play before the rain, called it an honor to take the pitch in memory of the Queen.

Laura Wright sang ‘God Save the King’ before performing day three at The Oval

/ Pennsylvania

“It was very sad news not just for the nation but for the world with the passing of the Queen,” Stokes said. “He was someone who dedicated his life to the nation, someone we are greatly inspired by and we are honored to be able to walk the field in memory of the Queen.

“We know how much the Queen loved this sport, and the show must go on. I’m sure she’ll despise all the sport that’s still going on this weekend and we’re going there in her honor. I am very happy and proud that we can do this.

Saturday is the third day of what will remain a five-day test match, with South Africa due to return home on Tuesday and reluctant to extend their stay, with a tour of India and the T20 World Cup in Australia ahead.

Stokes, however, said his side would do everything in their power to force a result in the remaining time.

There was also a minute’s silence and a military honor guard in memory of Her Majesty

/ Action images via Reuters

“Sport is something that people come to watch and enjoy, but it also brings people together,” he added. “The way we played, we tried to do that in the summer. We’re probably even more likely to do so with just three days of cricket.

“All we do on the pitch this week will be to try and get a result. We don’t play for draws, so we’re going to go out there and try to do everything to win.

standard Sport

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