What was supposed to be day two of the LV= Insurance series decider at the Kia Oval was called off on Friday as a mark of respect following the death of the long-reigning monarch.
There were suggestions the Test could be postponed or cancelled, but the England and Wales Cricket Board gave the green light to all international, domestic and recreational fixtures going ahead from Saturday "to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and honour her remarkable life and service". The ECB's decision, taken after consultations with the DCMS and in line with the Government guidance on the period of mourning which advised cancelling matches was not mandatory, means the Women's Twenty20 between England and India at Chester-le-Street will also take place as planned. England men's Test captain Stokes, responding to a question about whether sporting events should proceed this weekend, earlier tweeted: "She loved sport, be honoured to play in her memory." Saturday will remain day three of the Test, as scheduled, following a washout on Thursday, with all players and coaches wearing black armbands to commemorate the Queen. A minute's silence and the national anthems will be carried out before the start of play, which looks set to be the first sporting rendition of 'God Save The King'. The ECB and Cricket South Africa explored the option of extending the Test into Tuesday but the tourists will stick to their original plan of flying home on that day.
JUST IN: Cricket in England will resume on Saturday after Friday's fixtures were suspended following the death of Queen Elizabeth II pic.twitter.com/5wCq3Vg350
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 9, 2022
The CSA decision was taken to allow its players to spend a few days at home before embarking on tours of India and Australia and effectively determines a three-day Test against England. The toss and teams remain the same - with Stokes electing to bowl first before persistent showers ruled out the prospect of any play on Thursday - with 98 overs scheduled for each of the last three days. There was plenty of anticipation for this match, with the Proteas winning the Lord's opener by an innings before England returned the favour at Emirates Old Trafford as both Tests finished inside three days. Speaking earlier this week while contemplating the prospect of rain interrupting play, South Africa captain Dean Elgar insisted there would be "a winner in this Test" which he was treating "like a World Cup final".
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