The entire opening day of the third and final Test between England and South Africa was washed out as both sides waited to see what would become of the remainder of the match, following the death of Her Majesty, the Queen.
Overnight storms had cleared by match morning, although the outfield remained wet enough to prompt umpires Richard Kettleborough and Nitin Menon to delay the toss by half an hour and dark clouds enveloped the ground just shortly before rescheduled start time of 11.30am and heavy showers arrived before the players could take the field. Despite a few hopeful movements in terms of cover removal and pitch inspections, the rain set in and play had been called off by 4.45pm.
But the day’s events in South London were overshadowed by those much further north at Balmoral, where the Royal Family gathered at their Scottish home amid concerns over the Queen’s health. It was confirmed shortly after 6pm that she had died at the age of 96, and the ECB are expected to announce that the scheduled second day of the match will now become a day of respect, with the Test likely to get underway on Saturday.
“Massively disappointed for Jonny, he’s been absolutely phenomenal this summer,” Stokes told Sky Sports. “He’s been the spearhead of what we wanted to achieve this summer. Harry Brook gets that opportunity, he thoroughly deserves the situation he finds himself in.”
England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Alex Lees, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Ollie Robinson, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson
South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar (capt), 2 Sarel Erwee, 3 Keegan Petersen, 4 Ryan Rickelton, 5 Khaya Zondo, 6 Kyle Verreynne (wk), 7 Wiaan Mulder, 8 Marco Jansen, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Anrich Nortje