England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB], on Monday, announced that the upcoming England Men’s Test series against West Indies will honour the heroic cricketing workers, naming the three-match rubber as #raisethebat Test series.
The heroic cricketing workers include teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers carers and other professionals, who have been working on the frontline throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic while at the same time also taking care of their family.
On day 01 of the first England-West Indies Test, English players will honour the heroes by wearing their names on their training kit before the start of the match. The people named on the shirt have been nominated by their respective local cricket clubs.
The shirt will feature names like Emily Blakemore. Blakemore is a nurse who has been looking after COVID-19 patients in a hospital. Besides her nursing duties, Emily plays for Astwood Cricket Club where she also volunteers for the junior section thus inspiring a whole host of youngsters.
“It’s going to be an absolute honour to see one of the England Men’s players come out while wearing my name on the back of their shirt. It has been such a difficult time for so many people, and there’s still a lot of hard work ahead, but it’s exciting that we’ll be able to see some cricket again,” Emily Blakemore was quoted as saying by Derbyshire County Cricket Club website.
“The cricket family has really pulled together at a tough time and I can’t wait until we can get playing at my club again. Until then, hopefully, Joe Root and the team can give us something to cheer about. Summer isn’t summer without cricket.” she added.
“Through the #raisethebat Test Series, we will show our gratitude to key workers”- England & Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison
Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said the gesture is a small tribute to all the frontline workers that have worked selflessly during all this time.
“As we stage the first international sporting competition in the UK since COVID-19 began, we want to pay tribute to the people who have bravely played their part during this crisis. Through the #raisethebat Test Series, we will show our gratitude to key workers,” Tom Harrison said.
“It has been a long and challenging journey to cricket’s return and while this pales in comparison to what the country has faced, we hope the #raisethebat Test Series will bring some enjoyment and light relief to people’s lives.” he added.
Joe Root, meanwhile, thanked the brave workers for their valour while also expressing his gratitude towards the West Indies for making the series happen.
“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. 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.” Joe Root said.
Cricket will finally return post the Covid-19 lockdown when England takes on the West Indies on June 08.