Ben Stokes mistakenly shakes Jason Holder’s hand after winning the toss in first England-West Indies Test
After coming on to the field to start the play, both sides bent the knee to show solidarity towards 'BlackLivesMatter' movement.
Updated - Jul 8, 2020 7:29 pm
International cricket, which was halted for a significant period of 117 days, finally bounced back on July 8 as England locked horns with West Indies in the first Test of the historic series. England hosting West Indies is the first instance of an international encounter amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first Test of the three-match series got unfolded at the Ageas Bowl pitch in Southampton as the world witnessed a few significant changes in the sport. Considering the COVID-19 risk, all players were seen following many regulations while maintaining social distancing.
In the wake of the pandemic, the ICC had recently introduced many interim rules like the ban on saliva, no neutral umpires, more DRS per innings and no handshakes of high-fives. With an aim to curb the COVID-19 risk, players of both sides have been living in a ‘biosecure bubble’.
It was also a special day for Ben Stokes, as he stepped in the middle for the toss as England’s skipper. Stokes, in absence of Root, will be at the helm for the first time.
The toss and first day’s play was delayed due to rain
In a new-look toss involving social distancing, England won it and elected to bat. However, falling back to the old habit, Stokes unintentionally shook the hand of West Indies skipper Jason Holder. Both Stokes and Holder burst out in laughter after the unintended incident.
The toss and the play was delayed due to rain but both the sides eventually braced the field to provide fans with some international cricket action. The series holds much significance for the sporting scenario as many future matches and tours could be organized in such a manner. West Indies, who have not won a series in England since 1988, will be hoping to script history in the iconic Test series.
After coming on to the field to start the play, both sides bent the knee to show solidarity towards ‘BlackLivesMatter’ movement. As a tribute to COVID-19 warriors, England players’ training jersey also had the names of key workers on them.
The Three Lions are scheduled to play three Tests against the Caribbean side, with the first match at the Ageas Bowl and the remaining two at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
Here’s the clip:
Sanitise those hands, @benstokes38! 💦
England's captain wins the toss and chooses to bat in a new-look toss as Test cricket returns. 🏏
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 8, 2020