(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.
Last Updated: 25th September, 2019 16:21 IST Deepak Punia: ‘Zero Expectations’ & ‘No Pressure’ Helped Me Win Silver Deepak Punia in an interview with Republic TV said that non-recognition kept him away from the spotlight; helped him win silver in World Wrestling Championship. Written By FOLLOW US Suman Ray SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE 11 months ago Deepak Punia reaches World Championship final; books Olympics berth LIVE TV COMMENT ‘Non-recognition’ is a ‘virtue’, is not understood by many. But for Deepak Punia, it worked as a ‘miracle’, as he ‘quietly prepared’ for the challenge at the top flight without any ‘spotlight’ or ‘pressure’. “No one recognised me. No one talked to me. At times, I was confused as an official or a coach. No one paid any attention to me. I was away from the spotlight. Everyone talked about Bajrang bhai, Vinesh ji and my Guruji (Sushil Kumar). That actually helped. It gave me strength from within to do something like them,” Deepak told Republic TV after his return from World Championship.Read: Deepak Punia Clinches Silver, Rahul Takes Bronze At World C’shipSushil Kumar Always Believes in Me: Deepak Punia”I used to hear what people say about them and felt proud of my “Guruji” (Sushil Kumar).. he is recognised, loved and praised by everyone wherever he goes. And he always believes in me and my ability. It was an hour to travel along with him in a competition that he was participating in. Before leaving he had told me, & I remember; “Mujhe mile na mile, tera medal to pakka hi hai”.. I took it as a ‘joke’ but never thought it would actually come true,” Deepak said. Sushil had lost in the first or qualifying round while his ward Deepak went on to win a silver, which no one else in the contingent could. “Now I dedicate this medal to Guruji Mahabali Satpal ji and Sushil Pehewalnji. I completely owe them this medal,” he added.Read: Lure Of Job Brought Deepak Punia To Wrestling, Here’s His Story’Deepak Is the Next Big Thing in Wrestling’Sushil heaped high praises on his ward Deepak; “Didn’t I tell you all… Deepak is the next big thing in wrestling. It’s just a beginning for him. He will win many medals and laurels for the country.” Talking of his ward, Mahabali Satpal said: “I had spotted his talent at the age of 12 and it’s a proud feeling my institute Chhatrashal Stadium has now produced a Gold (Sushil) and two silver (Amit Dahiya in 2013 & Deepak in 2019) medallists. Now our focus turns to the 2020 Olympics.”Read: Deepak Punia Reaches World Championship Final; Books Olympics BerthRead: Deepak Punia Qualifies For Tokyo Olympics, Beats Colombia’s Mendez WE RECOMMEND First Published: 25th September, 2019 16:21 IST