The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and West Indies cricket have decided to dedicate the upcoming Eng vs WI test series to the doctors, teachers, and other vital professionals who have been working tirelessly to fight the novel coronavirus. West Indies is scheduled to play a three-match test series against England in England from July 8. The Test series is named after the #raisethebat initiative. The initiative has already been featured on 300 billboards across England and featured in a short film narrated by Stephen Fry. The film will be rolled out to a wider audience from June 29.
Talking about same England’s test captain Joe Root revealed, “We’ve waited a long time for this moment. We wouldn’t be here without the West Indies. We are so grateful to them for making the tour happen. As we get back to playing the game we love, we want to take the time to honor the brave key workers who went in to bat for their country under the toughest circumstances. It’s only fitting that we use this series as an opportunity to ‘raise a bat’ in their honor. We’ll wear their names with pride.”
In the view of the #raisethebat movement, England cricket players will don the jerseys with the name of selected healthcare officials printed on it. The people named on the shirts include Dr. Vikas Kumar, a Specialist in Anaesthetics at Darlington Memorial Hospital, who plays for Cowgate Cricket Club in his spare time. The names have been selected by the local cricket clubs across the country and their stories will feature on ECB’s digital platforms.
Emily Blakemore, one of the selected healthcare professional described her feelings about getting this honor. Emily quoted, “It’s going to be an absolute honor to see one of the England Men’s players come out while wearing my name on the back of their shirt. It has been such a difficult time for so many people, and there’s still a lot of hard work ahead. But it’s exciting that we’ll be able to see some cricket again.”
“The cricket family has really pulled together at a tough time. I can’t wait until we can get playing at my club again. Until then, hopefully, Joe Root and the team can give us something to cheer about. Also, summer isn’t summer without cricket.”, she added.