The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Hampshire Cricket will commemorate those cricketers who lost their lives in World War One during the 3rd Investec Test Match between England and India which starts on Sunday at The Ageas Bowl.
The commemorations will include a minute’s silence prior to the start of the third day’s play and descendants of the former Kent and England cricketer Colin Blythe will also be in attendance next Tuesday as special guests of ECB and Hampshire Cricket.
Blythe, who died at Passchendaele in 1917, was one of four England cricketers to die during the war and the England team laid a specially crafted stone cricket ball at his grave on a visit to the Oxford Road cemetery near Ypres in 2009.
Yorkshire’s Major William Booth, Middlesex’s Leonard Moon and Kent’s Kenneth Hutchings were the other England cricketers to die during the war which saw 289 First Class cricketers lose their lives overall and 407 players subsequently decorated for gallantry.
Further commemorative tributes will include the England team wearing the Help for Heroes logo on their shirt collars and the ringing of a bell to mark the start of the third day’s play by a current member of the Armed Forces.
Hampshire County Cricket Club will also be providing up to 1,000 tickets for servicemen in partnership with Help for Heroes, Tickets for Troops and Rewards for Forces and BBC TV’s ‘Great British Bake-off’ winner Frances Quinn will serve up slices of a ‘Trench Cake’ – baked according to an original wartime recipe - to members of the media.
ECB’s Acting Chief Executive Brian Havill said: “At a time when the entire nation will be marking the outbreak of World War One, it is important that cricket recognises the enormous human cost of the conflict and in particular the hundreds of First Class cricketers who gave their lives in service of their country.
“We will be asking everyone attending day three of the Test Match to show their respects to the fallen and we trust that this will form a suitable and fitting commemoration to all those soldiers and civilians who died.”
Hampshire Chief Executive David Mann added: “Hampshire has always had very strong links with our Armed Forces and we are extremely proud and humbled to have the opportunity to mark this occasion and remember the sacrifice of millions of soldiers not just from our county, but from across the country and indeed around the world.”