London, Sep 11 (IANS) Former England cricketer Andrew Strauss recalled his instance of meeting Queen Elizabeth II, saying that there was always a degree of humbleness and one was humbled by the chance to meet the late Queen.
The start of the third and final Test between England and South Africa was delayed by two days due to the passing away of Queen Elizabeth II. On Saturday, ahead of the start of the play on day three, a minute’s silence by everyone present at The Oval was observed before the national anthems were sung by singer Laura Wright, including historic rendition of ‘God Save The King’, sung for the first time in 70 years was followed by sustained applause from the crowd.
Players from both sides and the match officials, who were wearing black armbands, entered the field through a military guard of honour before the ground fell silent. The period of silence was ended by a single chime of a bell from the highest-ranking military official in attendance, Senior NCO Robert Brockelsby Miller of the Irish Guards.
“You know if you had that opportunity, you’ve done something important. And so, I think there’s a degree of humbleness and being humbled by the opportunity to meet Her Majesty, and of course, it’s reflective of a great moment in your life. I was also lucky to meet her at a private lunch she put on for various people, and those are the moments that genuinely you think are the standout moments in your life,” said Strauss after day three’s play on Sky Sports.
Strauss, who had captained England in his playing days, further elaborated, “And of course she had to deal with that every day. Every day people were meeting her thinking it was going to be the greatest moment in their lives.”
“The pressure and expectation and sense of national duty that accompanied her every time she walked out in public was huge and that’s why we do need to take a step back and reflect and contemplate, and mourn. And also understand this is the end of a very significant era.”
Former England captain Michael Atherton called the tribute for the Queen before the beginning of day three’s play as ‘incredibly moving’. “An extraordinary moment, that was – to reflect on a life of incredible service. Incredibly moving. I think cricket has got it right this (on Saturday) morning. I think it’s the right thing to play on.”
“I think the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom would want sport to carry on and use the communality of sport – thousands of people coming together – to remember a life of great service. I think it will be an occasion that people in this ground, and watching in the UK and around the world, will remember for a long time.”