The international cricket marked its return after a long wait of 117 days as England and West Indies locked horns in the opener of the three-match Test series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday (July 08).
The much-awaited return of the captivating game saw enormous reactions on the social media platform – Twitter. Former and current cricketers flooded the microblogging website with heart-warming responses.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma greeted both England and West Indies and said he couldn’t wait to enter the cricket field once again.
“Cricket is back Positive scenes coming out from the UK. So good to finally see some cricket being played. Wishing both teams the best. Can’t wait to be out there myself #EngVsWI,” tweeted Rohit.
Cricket is back 😃Positive scenes coming out from UK. So good to finally see some cricket being played. Wishing both teams the best. Can’t wait to be out there myself 🤞 #EngVsWI
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) July 8, 2020
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting showed his excitement for the return of cricket.
How good is it to have Test cricket back! #ENGvWI
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) July 8, 2020
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wished good luck to both the teams and ultimately the fascinating game is the real winner.
“Whatever happens from here on in, cricket will be the winner. The above statement has been used so many times in the past; today is one day where it will fit in perfectly. Good luck to both the teams,” Ashwin wrote.
Cricket will try and get back to its feet tomorrow. #ENGvWI
Lots of excitement and hope at the same time.
— Ashwin (During Covid 19)🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) July 7, 2020
Ajinkya Rahane wrote: “So nice to see that cricket is back! Good luck to both the teams! Can’t wait to get back on the field again #ENGvWI.”
So nice to see that cricket is back!
Good luck to both the teams!
Can’t wait to get back on the field again#ENGvWI
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) July 8, 2020
Meanwhile, Day 1 of the Southampton Test started after a three-hour delay because of light rain and a wet outfield. England’s stand-in captain Ben Stokes opted to bat first, leaving out Stuart Broad in favour of a pace attack featuring both Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Also, before the start of the match, England’s players paid tribute to the frontline workers engaged in selfless service during the Covid-19 pandemic by displaying their names on the back of their practice T-shirts.
Then, both the teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of West Indies’ great, Sir Everton Weekes, who recently passed away. Both squads also took the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The English team had a terrible start as in the second over of England’s first innings opener Dom Sibley was sent back to the pavilion by Caribbean pacer Shannon Gabriel.
Rain yet again spoiled the playing hours, and at the end of days play, only 106 balls bowled. Opener Rory Burns remained not out on 20 while top-order batsman Joe Denly remained unbeaten at 14. Both added 35 off 97 deliveries.
No more play is possible, so the first day back for international cricket lasts just 17.4 overs.
— ICC (@ICC) July 8, 2020
Here are some more Twitter reactions:
Finally, good to see Test cricket is back. Live and truly alive! Never watched ball by ball action of non-india matches but this is a historic match. Will be watching as much as I can 😁 #ENGvWI #EngvsWI pic.twitter.com/kyVnLkz8CY
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) July 8, 2020
It feels good seeing live cricket happening after a long haul. So, finally cricket has resumed & this brings positivity in every sportsperson and cricket lover’s heart & mind. Hoping soon tht Covid-19 wil go away frm our lives & things wil become normal. #ENGvsWI #cricketisback pic.twitter.com/EEaG6Z16at
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) July 8, 2020
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) July 8, 2020
— Sarah Taylor (@Sarah_Taylor30) July 8, 2020