England v South Africa to begin historic rendition of national anthem | England v South Africa 2022

Play in the third Test between England and South Africa will start on Saturday morning, preceded by what may be the first full, official televised rendition of God Save the King at a sporting event.

One of the many protocol issues for the England and Wales Cricket Board to consider on Friday was whether there would be a problem with the national anthem being played in SE11 before the Accession Council formally proclaims Charles III monarch at St James’s Palace. As the Council meeting was scheduled to start in the Oval just an hour before play began, any problem could have resulted in another delay, but cricket was eventually able to resume. The first official rendition of God Save the King will be sung in St Paul’s Cathedral, at the conclusion of a memorial service for the Queen on Friday evening.

The organizers also had to decide whether to observe one minute of silence or two (protocol demanded one), whether it would be appropriate to ring the bell before the game (yes), whether a military band could be involved – the Band of the Household Cavalry would have played the national anthem on Thursday if the rain hadn’t stepped in (yeah, too) — and whether the traditional rendition of Jerusalem before the game starts too (probably not).

But the test will have to be decided in just three days after attempts to extend the match, which had already lost its first day to inclement weather before the second was handed in as a mark of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, were thwarted by the hectic schedule of South Africa . The tourists will return home on Tuesday and several players have only a few days there before they leave for a white-ball tour of India.

She loved sport, be honoured to play in her memory ❤️ https://t.co/sNSJ3qJreW

— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) September 9, 2022


The decision to resume cricket at all levels from Saturday was made two and a half hours after the Premier League went public to postpone this weekend’s games, reflecting the unusual complexity of the ECB’s situation. This included the fact that the Oval sits on the manor of Kennington, part of the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall since 1337. The title is traditionally held by the reigning monarch’s eldest son and as such King Charles III was Duke of Cornwall from his mother’s coronation in 1952 until his own accession to the throne, after which Prince William inherited the position. Charles last visited the Oval in June, although it was for a platinum anniversary celebration rather than the Vitality Blast.

The English players were eager to play and almost four hours before the ECB made its decision, Ben Stokes had publicly called for the game to continue. “She [the Queen] likes sports,” the captain wrote on Twitterin which he stated that he would “find the honor of playing in her memory”.

Players and coaches will wear black armbands for the remainder of the test, while all removable advertising, including boundary lines and screens, will be removed. Spectators are also requested to arrive early to take part in the Queen’s celebration, which will begin at 10:30 am.

Surrey has also made it clear that anyone who shows up at the gates in costume will be turned away.

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