(REUTERS) – England players will wear training shirts bearing the names of key workers before the start of the first test against the West Indies next month to honour their service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s cricket board said on Monday.The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said people whose names will feature on the shirts have been nominated by their local cricket clubs and include teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and carers.The first Test is scheduled to begin in Southampton on July 8, with the last two matches at Old Trafford, as international cricket returns following its suspension in March.“As we get back to playing the game we love, we want to take the time to honour the brave key workers who went into bat for their country under the toughest circumstances,” England skipper Joe Root said in a statement.“It’s only fitting that we use this series as an opportunity to ‘raise a bat’ in their honour. We’ll wear their names with pride.”The ECB said the series would be called the #raisethebat test series in honour of key workers.“It has been a long and challenging journey to cricket’s return and while this pales in comparison to what the country has faced, we hope the #raisethebat test series will bring some enjoyment… to people’s lives,” ECB CEO Tom Harrison said.The novel coronavirus has infected more than 304,300 people in the United Kingdom, causing more than 42,600 deaths.
Waldman was joined in the pregame by recently retired Yankees hurler CC Sabathia, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Cole.After a beautiful rendition of the anthem by Suzyn Waldman, a slim CC Sabathia tosses the ceremonial 1st pitch to Gerrit Cole at Yankee Stadium. pic.twitter.com/VzNwkePMlB— Pete Caldera (@pcaldera) July 31, 2020Waldman is slated to be half of the Yankees’ broadcast booth through the end of the 2020 season.This article has been updated. That’s baseball, Suzyn.Long before Gerrit Cole put ink to paper and realized a boyhood dream, Yankees radio voice Suzyn Waldman made a promise to him: Sign with New York and you’ll get to hear me sing the national anthem. Well, prior to Friday night’s Yankees home opener, Waldman kept that promise: She sang the anthem for an audience of Cole and everyone else who was allowed in the building.Tonight’s National Anthem was performed by Suzyn Waldman. Suzyn was the very first voice ever heard on WFAN radio. She has been a beat reporter, TV analyst, play by play broadcaster, and is the first and only woman ever to have a full-time analyst job with a Major League team. pic.twitter.com/9IEmHzzv6D— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2020A moment years in the making. pic.twitter.com/woxgETnTFX— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2020MORE: Did Donald Trump lie about throwing out first pitch at Yankees game?It’s far from the first time Waldman used the mic for singing and not analyzing. The trailblazing, longtime analyst for the Yankees’ radio network has sung the national anthem not only at Yankee Stadium but other baseball stadiums many times in the past, including prior to Game 7 of the 1986 ALCS at Fenway Park. Suzyn Waldman is singing the National Anthem before tonight’s Yankees home openerShe can really do it all pic.twitter.com/uE1OueHjMa— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) July 31, 2020The 73-year-old Waldman was a stage actor in musicals long before heading up to the booth, where her pairing with play-by-play man John Sterling is in its 16th season for WFAN. And she’s no stranger to New York’s sports radio station, either: Her voice was the first heard on the station when it was launched in 1987.