Players Take The Knee
On a day which should have celebrated the start of the UK summer of cricket, inevitably rain played more than it’s fair part. Before play eventually began at 2.00 pm, players and staff alike in what was a powerful image, all were seen taking the knee. This was to act as one in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign. The West Indies players wearing black gloves on raised fists.
The early intrigue came in the team selection. England left out experienced opening bowler Stuart Broad. The Nottinghamshire seamer, a veteran of 138 caps and has not missed a home Test since 2012. He was left out in place of the express quicks – Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
The visitors surprised many by going into the match without a front-line spinner. Rakheem Cornwall left out of the side, leaving any spin bowling duties to Roston Chase.
After winning his first coin toss as England captain, a full haired Ben Stokes surprised many with his decision given the weather, by opting to bat first. A decision that would have left the bowling cartel scratching their heads.
Players Take The Knee But Rain Plays Spoilsport
Persistent and occasionally heavy rain marred the first day, play commenced at just after 2.00 pm and after 19 minutes proceeds were halted once more.
In that time, however, Windies paceman Shannon Gabriel did dismiss the new look Dominic Sibley. The Warwickshire opener leaving whilst still on nought, a ball that jagged back before cannoning into the top of his off stump.
When play resumed Rory Burns and Joe Denly staved off the West Indies onslaught and managed to land a few blows of their own. Burns in particular profiting from some at times loose bowling from the tourists’ seamers. Players take the knee was a common theme throughout the day.
It can be difficult having to stop and start over on days like this, particularly for the batters who have to set themselves time and time again after numerous delays. Burns and Denly will be pleased with their work during the limited action in tricky conditions.
Eventually, after taking tea during another rain break. It was bad light, however, that brought an early end to the first day’s action of summer 2020. Only 17.4 overs were possible during the day and little to no headway made by either side.
Day 2 Preview
England closed day one on 35-1 with Burns 20* and Denly 14*. Everybody involved will hope for better luck with the weather for the remaining four days. Tomorrow’s forecast isn’t for markedly better conditions than today, however, it is set to improve over the weekend. Could perhaps too much time be lost by then?
England will look to solidify their batting position while the West Indies will be hoping to make inroads into England’s middle-order.
What is it they say about the inevitable’s in life? Death, Taxes, and a rain-soaked outfield when you’ve waited four months for cricket?
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images