Ben Stokes wants England’s third Test with South Africa to go ahead ‘in Queen’s memory’

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Ben Stokes speaking before Thursday’s washed out day at the Oval (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
Ben Stokes speaking before Thursday’s washed out day at the Oval (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

England captain Ben Stokes said he would be “honoured” to play in the Queen’s memory as officials decide whether to resume the third and final Test against South Africa.

The second day did not proceed as scheduled at the Kia Oval following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday and the England and Wales Cricket Board is due to issue an update on the status of the series decider later on Friday.

But Stokes, responding to footballer Darren Huckerby’s question about whether sporting events should go ahead, tweeted: “She loved sport, [I would] be honoured to play in her memory.”

Play on Thursday was washed out by rain before the announcement that Friday’s play would not go ahead following the Queen’s death. All scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy were also suspended on Friday.

Officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) joined a sport-wide discussion with the government’s department for digital, culture, media and sport where sporting bodies were told it was up to each individual organisation to decide whether or not to procede with events this weekend.

An announcement is expected on Friday over whether the rest of the Test match will go ahead. England’s T20 squad travel to Pakistan on Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming short-form World Cup in Australia.

South Africa comprehensively beat England in the series opener at Lord’s before roles were reversed at Old Trafford and the hosts levelled at 1-1 heading to the Oval.

Additional reporting by PA