God Save the King starts Test at The Oval

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An historic rendition of God Save the King took place before the first ball of the third Test between England and South Africa was finally bowled following a touching tribute to the Queen.

With the series poised at 1-1, the toss was won by England on Thursday morning and they elected to bowl.

But the first day was washed out by rain, and the second was cancelled following the announcement of the death of the Queen.

Play began on Saturday in a respectful atmosphere after a guard of honour and a minute's silence.

Laura Wright then sang the national anthems of both South Africa and England, the latter marking the first time God Save the King had been sung at a televised sporting event.

All players and coaches wore black armbands while there was no branded advertising by the boundary edge.

England captain Ben Stokes said on Sky Sports: "It's been very sad news for not only the nation but the world with the Queen's passing.

"She was someone who dedicated her life to the nation, someone that we take incredible inspiration from and we are honoured to be able to walk out on the field in memory of the Queen.

"We know how much the Queen loved this sport, and the show must go on.

"I'm sure she'll be looking down on all the sport that's still going ahead over this weekend and that we're going out there in her honour. I'm very pleased and proud we can do that."

Over to the west of London, golfers from around the world paused their BMW PGA Championship rounds and other pros, officials and caddies gathered on the putting green in front of the first tee at Wentworth to hold a two-minute period of silence, also impeccably observed.

Professional and grassroots soccer - including the Premier League - decided to call off all matches this weekend to give an opportunity for participants to mourn the queen's passing.

As well as cricket and golf, English domestic rugby returned, on the back of guidance from the government that stated there was no obligation on sports organisations to cancel or reschedule events during the nation's period of mourning.

The decision of soccer to cancel games has proved to be divisive, with some feeling the game -- and its many fans -- missed a chance to honour the queen in the way other sports have.

"I know it's only a game and some things are much bigger," former Premier League player Peter Crouch tweeted, "but imagine all our games went ahead this weekend. Black armbands, silences observed, national anthem, Royal band playing etc to the millions around the world watching?

"Isn't that a better send off?"

with Reuters, The AP