England, West Indies take a knee in first Test as cricket returns in slightly different look

 | Updated: Jul 08, 2020, 07:11 PM IST

International cricket was back in action amid rain delay at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. While the toss took place after an early lunch, the new England captain Ben Stokes opted to bat first after winning the coin flip. Social distancing norms were already in place as team huddles and handshakes were scrapped as players stood in distance before the start of Day 1's play. 

Players paused for a minute's silence in memory of all who lost their lives in the COVID-19 pandemic before taking the knee just before the first ball of the day was bowled in support for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Players pause for a minute's silence in memory of all the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic

Players pause for a minute's silence in memory of all the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, on the first day of the first Test cricket match between England and the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest England on July 8, 2020.


England vs West Indies

Both teams had already announced they would be wearing BLM (Black Lives Matter) logos on their shirts during the three-match series.


West Indies players

England and West Indies players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign as international cricket resumed after the coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday.


A token of gesture of Sir Everton Weekes and victims of COVID-19

The players gathered in a semi-circle in the middle at Southampton to observe a minute's silence in memory of both the victims of COVID-19 and West Indies great Everton Weekes, who died last week at the age of 95.


And then, cricket was back!

Kemar Roach bowled the first ball and Rory Burns survived a confident lbw appeal off the fourth ball of the match. But England lost their first wicket off the 10th ball when Dom Sibley was bowled for a duck by fast bowler Shannon Gabriel playing no shot.