England will pay tribute to key workers from the coronavirus pandemic during their upcoming Test series against West Indies.
The series has been named the #raisethebat series in honour of key workers and will see players wearing training shirts with the names of individuals who have been nominated by their local cricket clubs.
The three-Test series starts on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl, before Manchester’s Old Trafford hosts the second and third matches from July 16 and July 24 respectively.
England Test captain Joe Root said: ‘We’ve waited a long time for this moment, and we wouldn’t be here without the West Indies – we are so grateful to them for making the tour happen.
‘As we get back to playing the game we love, we want to take the time to honour the brave key workers who went into bat for their country under the toughest circumstances.
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‘It’s only fitting that we use this series as an opportunity to “raise a bat” in their honour. We’ll wear their names with pride.’
Among the key workers honoured will be Emily Blakemore, a nurse who plays for Astwood Bank Cricket Club in Redditch.
‘It’s going to be an absolute honour to see one of the England men’s players come out wearing my name on the back of their shirt,’ she said.
The West Indies squad arrived in England earlier in the month and have been based at Old Trafford for training ahead of the series opener in Southampton.
The series was originally due to start on June 4 but the coronavirus pandemic – which has led to the deaths of more than 42,000 people in the UK – forced it to be rearranged.
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