BEN STOKES was delighted after cricket bosses decided the third Test against South Africa will resume on Saturday at The Oval.
There will be three days of matches after Thursday’s first day was washed out and Friday’s game was canceled in a show of respect to the Queen.
The ECB wanted to extend the game to Tuesday, but South Africa was due to fly home that day and refused to budge.
The national anthem will be sung as usual before kick-off and with the expected sell-out crowd of 27,500 it could be the first mass performance of God Save the King.
God Save the Queen was supposed to be sung on Thursday when it was raining.
Captain Stokes made his views clear when he responded to a tweet asking if sporting events should be held this weekend.
Stokes wrote: “She loved sports, be honored to play in her memory.”
The teams and draw remain in place after England made a debut for Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook, opting to bowl first.
The three remaining days have at least 98 overs to make up for lost time, but poor lighting and a slow pace of play can make this a struggle.
Surrey has urged viewers to show up early and be in their seats by 10.30am for a “special celebration of Her Majesty’s life on the pitch”.
The host county added that bars will not serve alcohol until after the celebration and costumes will not be allowed on any of the three days.
Advertising will be removed from areas such as privacy screens, perimeter pads, giant screens and outdoor mats and replaced with tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.
The women’s Twenty20 game between England and India in Durham and England U19 versus Sri Lanka in Leicester will also take place, as will leisure cricket.
An ECB spokesman said: “Cricket will resume on Saturday to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to honor her remarkable life and service.
“The decision was made after consultation with DCMS and in line with official national bereavement guidelines.
“Before each game, there will be a minute’s silence followed by the national anthem.
“All players and coaches will wear black armbands. Token inventory will be replaced with messages honoring the Queen.”
The ECB hoped to convince the Proteas to agree to an extension day.
But the spokesman added: “We have had talks with Cricket South Africa but the team have to fly on Tuesday to spend a few days at home before heading to India and Australia.
“So Saturday’s game is confirmed as day three of a five-day test match.”
The series is tied 1-1 after South Africa triumphed at Lord’s and England at Old Trafford.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6189546/ben-stokes-the-queen-england-third-test-south-africa/ Ben Stokes ‘honored to play in the Queen’s memory’ as England resume third Test against South Africa on Saturday