Why are England wearing black armbands? Cricketers tribute to ex-players during test match with Sri Lanka explained

Robin Jackman and John Edrich both passed away in December (Getty Images)Robin Jackman and John Edrich both passed away in December (Getty Images)
Robin Jackman and John Edrich both passed away in December (Getty Images)
England’s cricketers are wearing black armbands in tribute to John Edrich and Robin Jackman today during the first day of their first test with Sri Lanka

England have kicked off their first test match with Sri Lanka in impressive style, skittling the island nation’s top order in the match’s opening sessions.

Stuart Broad took two wickets in an over as England made a decisive start to the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle. Yorkshire’s Dom Bess meanwhile took four wickets as England earned the upper hand in the first test.

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The hosts opted to bat first after winning the toss but saw themselves reduced to 65 for three at lunch on day one.

Beyond the impressive cricket, the black armbands worn by England’s men in white have also caught the eye of fans.

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Why are England wearing black armbands?

The England cricket team are wearing black armbands in tribute to the late John Edrich and Robin Jackman.

John Edrich, who represented England from 1956 to 1978, was considered one of the finest batsman of his generation, once scoring 310 not out in a 1965 test with New Zealand.

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Edrich also famously scored the first ever boundary in a one day international – it came in a match against Australia in 1971

Edrich died on December 23 in his home in north Scotland at the age of 83. He had been living with leukaemia since 2000.

Robin Jackman passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 75.

Jackman played in four Tests and 15 one day internationals for his country, while he took 1,402 wickets in a 399-game first-class career that spanned between 1966 and 1982.

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Following his retirement he became a successful commentator in South Africa, where he lived with his wife Yvonne.

Surrey teammates

The duo played together at Surrey and the county’s chairman Ricard Thompson paid tribute to the pair of greats following their deaths in December.

“With the news of losing one Surrey great in John Edrich and now 24hrs later to have Jackers taken from us too soon is a huge blow to the club.

“Robin was a genuine Surrey great. Winning a County Championship, being a Wisden Cricketer of the Year and taking over 1400 first-class wickets puts him in a very special category.

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“It was always great to see him at The Oval and he was never short of a great story.

“Robin Jackman will not be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to know him and watch him wear the Brown Cap with such pride and great distinction.”

On Edrich, he said: “John Edrich was truly one of the greatest players to ever play for our club and his passing is an incredibly sad moment for us all.

“From watching his brave and charismatic batting to sitting alongside him in our committee room and learning about the game, to have been able to call John a friend was a high honour.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to offer our condolences to all of John’s friends, family and fans across the world – both inside and outside the game.”