The first Test of the series is being played between England and West Indies in Southampton on Wednesday.
Stokes said, “I know everybody had this wish. I know that thousands of people want us to play well. Our responsibility is to go to the field and do justice to those people.”
Ben Stokes is captaining England for the first time. He got this opportunity when England captain Joe Root became the father of another child and he has kept himself away from the game at present.
Stokes, 29, is England’s 81st captain and the first all-rounder to captain after Andrew Flintoff.
Speaking to the BBC, Stokes said, “I am the captain, it is not a big deal. It is a great thing that I go there (field) and do what I usually do. As much as possible, I can influence the game Let me try. “
Stokes also confirmed that England and West Indies teams would wear his logo on their shirts in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
“We are doing this by supporting the West Indies team,” Stokes said.
Due to Corona, the England team had to cancel the tour of Sri Lanka in March and the series with the West Indies was also due in June, but it was also delayed.
Test matches will be played in Southampton and Manchester in a bio-safe environment with no spectators.
The England team has been residing in Southampton for two weeks and the West Indies team was in isolation at Old Trafford and then got a chance to play two practice matches.
Due to Corona, many changes have been made in the test match rules.
Players will not be allowed to spit on the ball and both umpires will be from England rather than a neutral country.
When there is a sign of three lions on your chest, there can be nothing more proud than that. If Even if there is no one in the stands, you will still feel proud.
The West Indies have not won a series in England since 1988 but defeated England 2–1 in the Wisden Trophy in the West Indies in early 2019.
West Indies’ Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer refused to play due to Corona.
England certainly has the advantage of home ground but we have everything we need to defeat England and we will show a great game.”
The first Test match is being held at the Rose Bowl ground in Southampton between England and the West Indies. England captain Ben Stokes has won the toss and decided to bat first and has bowled to the visiting team West Indies. The toss at Southampton’s Rose Bowl was to be held at 3:30 pm Indian time, but the rain made international cricket wait a bit longer to be restored after the Coronavirus.
This will be the first international cricket match played in the Corona era. International cricket has come to a standstill since mid-March due to Kovid-19. With the series of England and West Indies, cricket is being restored once again. In this match, there are no spectators on the field to excite the players. Players will not be able to hug. There will be a corona check twice a week and the players will not be able to go out of the hotel. This match will be recorded in the history of the game for reasons other than just cricket.
Only two captains Ben Stokes, Jason Holder and match referee Chris Broad will go out for the toss. There will be no camera nor any handshake in the toss. Umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough will take their balls. There will be a sanitation break during the match.
These Changes Will Happen In Cricket
Players may not share gloves, shirts, water bottles, bags, or sweaters. There will be no ball boy, and the ground staff will not go within 20 meters of the players on the ground. Team sheets will be digital. Scorers will not share pens and pencils. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already banned the use of saliva on the ball. After two warnings, a penalty of five runs will be imposed.
International cricket has come to a standstill since 15 March 2020 due to the Covid-19 epidemic and now it is going to start in empty stadiums in a bio-safe environment between England and West Indies. Earlier the last match was played between Australia and New Zealand as an ODI international in Sydney.
Hardly any other Test match would have been as much awaited as the match between England and West Indies in Southampton from Wednesday to Wednesday. Due to the lockdown, no international match was played for the last 116 days. The West Indies team will play three Test matches on England soil. If we talk about the matches between the two teams, out of 159 Test matches, England have won 49 and West Indies have won 57 Test matches. 51 matches are drawn and two are canceled.
Saliva Will Not Be Used, Penalty Will Be Imposed
New rules will also apply in this test match played without an audience. Most importantly, there will be a ban on the use of saliva.
‘Black Lives Matter’
Through this, the players of the West Indies and England will show solidarity against racism.
Earlier, no international matches were played for 114 days in 1972 and 113 in 1973. One day cricket started on 5 January 1971 but only 15 matches were played in the first 4 years. This means no match for 181 days, which is the longest interval between 2 matches in the last 5 decades.
Till limited-overs cricket was not played, there was a long gap between 2 international matches or, say, Test cricket. The longest such gap was seen between the First and Second World Wars. During the First World War, no Test match was played for 6 years 9 months, and 20 days i.e. a total of 2,485 days. Even during the second world war, there was no match for 2,414 days.
If except World War, no Test the match was played from 14 August 1899 till 13 December 1901 i.e. 851 days. Due to the trend of limited-overs cricket, Test matches were not played for more than 100 days, especially in those years when the One Day Cup was held. Prior to this, the players were busy in the IPL and due to this, there was a gap of 131 days between 2 Tests. At present, this interval is 130 days.