Historic rendition of God Save The King fills Oval as cricket commemorates Queen

·3-min read

An historic rendition of God Save The King took place ahead of the resumption of the third Test between England and South Africa as well as a minute’s silence in a touching tribute to the Queen.

The death of the long-serving monarch, announced by Buckingham Palace officials on Thursday evening, led to Friday’s play being called off as a mark of respect but the green light was given for all international, domestic and recreational cricket fixtures in this country to go ahead from Saturday.

Ahead of the third day’s play in the LV= Insurance series decider, there was a poignant commemoration at the Kia Oval to the Queen, with an impeccably observed minute’s silence broken only by a one-bell chime from Senior NCO Robert Brockelsby Miller of the Irish Guards.

Soprano Laura Wright then sang the national anthems of both South Africa and England, with a sell-out crowd joining in one of the first renditions of God Save the King at a televised sporting event in 70 years before bursting into a spontaneous and prolonged applause ahead of the first ball being bowled.

All players and coaches wore black armbands while there was no branded advertising by the boundary edge.

England captain Ben Stokes said on Sky Sports: “It’s been very sad news for not only the nation but the world with the Queen’s passing.

“She was someone who dedicated her life to the nation, someone that we take incredible inspiration from and we are honoured to be able to walk out on the field in memory of the Queen.

England players Ben Stokes, left, Ollie Pope, centre, and Ben Foakes observe a minute’s silence
England players Ben Stokes, left, Ollie Pope, centre, and Ben Foakes observe a minute’s silence (John Walton/PA)

“We know how much the Queen loved this sport, and the show must go on.

“I’m sure she’ll be looking down on all the sport that’s still going ahead over this weekend and that we’re going out there in her honour. I’m very pleased and proud we can do that.”

Speaking after the match, when England closed at 154 for seven after South Africa had been bowled out for 118, bowler Stuart Broad reflected on a poignant day.

Broad, who took four wickets for 41 runs, said on Sky Sports: “It was incredible actually. It was amazing to be a part of.

“To walk down those stairs – every single player commented on how special it was to walk down – you could hear a pin drop.

“The respect shown by everyone in the stadium was incredible and to be able to sing the national anthem with a full house, just about to represent your country, was brilliant.

“I feel really glad that whoever decided to put this game on – it felt like almost a celebration of the Queen’s life today.

“It felt good to be out there representing the badge like we did today.”

Broad added: “I must admit when I saw the Premier League were postponing their fixtures for the weekend, I thought that might play a role in our game, but I was really pleased when I heard the news that we were continuing.”