England skipper Ben Stokes revealed that the team drew a “huge amount of inspiration” from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy to seal their third test win over South Africa. The Three Lions won the decisive Test by nine wickets to end the series with a 2-1 victory.
Day two of the final test was canceled as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death the previous Thursday tributes were paid prior to play on Saturday. Stokes said he will never forget the atmosphere at The Oval on Saturday.
Ben Stokes recounts the surreal moment when the crowd observed a minute of silence
The crowd fell silent as the players and umpires, all in black armbands, entered the field through a military honor guard before the official minute of silence was observed. Singer Laura Wright sang the anthems, first from: South Africa for God Save The King, followed by sustained applause from the crowd.
After the match, the 31-year-old all-rounder said: “I will never forget going down the stairs from the dressing room to complete the silence. We didn’t know that would happen. The silence was deafening. It was unbelievable.”
He added, “You could see the dismay, but also the respect that everyone has for the Queen and her services to the country and the whole world. I have never experienced anything like this and it was very special to be a part of it. Singing the national anthem with the small change was again special. I will never forget that day.”
England’s team tried to emulate Queen Elizabeth’s success and honor the country
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died Thursday at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.
After day one was washed out and the second day was cancelled, play began on day three, with England taking a remarkable win on Monday morning.
Stokes said he told his team before the match started “to draw a tremendous amount of inspiration” from what the Queen “did during her reign, to dedicate her life to the country”.
He added, “Obviously we’re not doing it close to the degree that she did, for 70 years. We walk out and we represent this country, and we do it with a lot of pride and honor.”
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