Ben Stokes: “Wearing their names is a real honour, a small sign of our appreciation for the incredible work they have done. They have truly gone in to bat for us all”
Last Updated: 08/07/20 9:55am
England paid tribute to key workers by wearing the names of doctors, nurses, teachers and carers on their training shirts ahead of the start of the first #raisethebat Test against West Indies.
Each England player and coach took the field at The Ageas Bowl on Wednesday bearing a key worker’s name.
The key workers were all nominated by their local cricket clubs, in recognition and thanks for their efforts on the front line during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Stand-in England captain and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes wore the name of Dr Vikas Kumar, a specialist in anaesthetics and critical care at Darlington Memorial Hospital and also a keen amateur cricketer.
England vs W Indies
July 8, 2020, 10:30am
“We’re only able to play this Test match because of the amazing job that key workers up and down the country have done to help us through this pandemic,” said Stokes.
“Wearing their names is a real honour for us, a small sign of our appreciation for the incredible work they have done.
“They have truly gone in to bat for us all, and it makes me proud of how the whole cricket family has responded to help us get through these unprecedented times.”
There are local connections between each player and key worker – Jofra Archer wore the name of Sussex-based paramedic Joe Wheatley, while Nottinghamshire carer Chris Tall was honoured by Stuart Broad.
Each key worker will later receive the shirt bearing their name, also signed by the player or coach who wore it.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “Along with fans up and down the country, we are very excited that our England men’s players are back on the cricket field. However, we will never forget those we’ve lost and the sacrifices made by so many people during this pandemic.
“Key workers and volunteers have often put their own lives on the line to keep us safe. It’s right that we say a small thank you to some of those who have done us so proud.”
The full list of key workers honoured at The Ageas Bowl:
Emily Blakemore, Nurse (Ben Foakes)
Dr Nasir Ali, Emergency Medicine Consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Ollie Robinson)
Joe Wheatley, Paramedic (Jofra Archer)
Ollie Clarke, NHS volunteer (Jack Leach)
Holly Buxton, Organiser of the COVID-19 Community Workforce for the elderly (Olly Stone)
Wendy Morris, Nurse (Dom Bess)
Susan Bainbridge, NEAS Ambulance Volunteer (Mark Wood)
Chris Tall, Care Home Worker (Stuart Broad)
Tom Field, Nurse Practitioner (James Anderson)
Richard Freeman, Police Officer (Dan Lawrence)
Anna Tunnicliff, A&E Sister (Joe Denly)
Debi Armstrong, Specialist Nurse (Zak Crawley)
Dale Hardy, Head Teacher at Sir Robert Pattinson Academy (Craig Overton)
Harikrishna Shah, Clinic Coordinator (James Bracey)
Dr Samara Afzal – Doctor (Chris Woakes)
Dr Vikas Kumar, Specialist in Anaesthetics and Critical Care (Ben Stokes)
Kishan Aghada, Physiotherapist (Saqib Mahmood)
Victor Hinds, Hospital Distribution Officer (Sam Curran)
Yahya Hafejee, Support Leader at Department for Work and Pensions (Ollie Pope)
Sharmyn Kennedy, Teacher (Rory Burns)
Dr Jamasp Kaikhusroo Dastur, Surgeon (Jos Buttler)
Mohammed Banaris, Operations Manager for G4S who ran COVID-19 testing centre (Dom Sibley)
Matthew Rammell, Respiratory Physiotherapist (Chris Silverwood)
Dr Chris Boyson, Doctor (Graham Thorpe)
Chantel Jacklin, Healthcare Assistant (Phil Scott)