ENGLAND cricketers sang a spine-tingling first televised rendition of “God Save the King” before a sporting event in 70 years following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Yesterday’s play was cancelled as a mark of respect following her passing aged 96 on Thursday.
England stars proudly belted out the national anthem
Soprano Laura Wright leads The Oval in a rendition of God Save the King
Players observe a minute’s silence
After consultation with DCMS and in line with Official National Mourning Guidance, the decision was made to resume play on Saturday morning.
England’s third Test against South Africa belatedly got underway, with stars wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.
The players entered the field flanked by a military guard of honour, before a minute’s silence was immaculately observed by those in attendance at The Oval.
The national anthem of South Africa was then played – before a rousing rendition of God Save the King was subsequently belted out by the passionate crowd, led by soprano Laura Wright.
It marked the first sporting occasion since the death of Queen Elizabeth II that this version of the anthem, written in 1745, has been sung.
A rendition was bellowed by 2,000 in attendance at St Paul’s Cathedral last night during a service honouring The Queen.
England captain Ben Stokes yesterday admitted that it would be an honour to play in her memory this weekend.
He tweeted: “She loved sport, be honoured to play in her memory”.
The 31-year-old followed his words with a heart emoji.
Prior to play starting today, Stokes told the BBC: “It’s obviously been a sad couple of days not only for us but the whole nation and the world as well.
“It’s great to be stood here knowing that we’re going to be playing this game, not just for us but in memory of the Queen so it’s a very special occasion for us.
“We were still waiting for confirmation of what was going to happen this week so the lads were just sitting around waiting for that yesterday.
“Once we heard the news it was good to hear from our point of view. There wasn’t much going on for us yesterday to be honest.”
All advertising was removed from The Oval, instead replaced by tributes to Her Majesty.
The ECB made the decision to resume play yesterday just hours after the Premier League opted to postpone all fixtures between September 9-11.
A Prem statement on Friday read: “At a meeting this morning, Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“To honour her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening’s game.”
They added: “Further updates regarding Premier League fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.”
Boards usually featuring advertisements held tributes to Queen Elizabeth II
Ben Stokes spoke eloquently before play