Stuart Broad: "It was incredible actually. It was amazing to be part of. To walk down those stairs, every single player commented on how special it was. The respect shown by everyone in the stadium was incredible. It felt like almost a celebration of the Queen's life today"
Saturday 10 September 2022 23:57, UK
England captain Ben Stokes says it was an honour for his side to walk out against South Africa in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II, with Stuart Broad commenting the day felt like a celebration of Her Majesty's life.
The decisive third Test between England vs South Africa got under way on day three on Saturday, with players and supporters observing an immaculate minute's silence in honour of The Queen.
Ahead of the start of play, tributes at the Kia Oval included a guard of honour, a minute's silence and the national anthems, which saw a stirring rendition of 'God Save the King'.
For Stokes, Broad, supporters in the ground and the Sky Sports Cricket commentary team including Michael Atherton, Kevin Pietersen, Nasser Hussain and Andrew Strauss, it was a special day and described as an "extraordinary moment".
England captain Ben Stokes told Sky Sports:
"It has been very sad news for not only the nation but the world.
"She is someone who dedicated their life to the nation, and that is something we can take incredible inspiration from.
"We are honoured to be able to walk out in memory of The Queen.
"We know how much she loved the sport. The show must go on. Sport is something that brings people together.
"I'm sure she will be proud that we're walking out in her honour."
England's Stuart Broad told Sky Sports:
"It was incredible actually. It was amazing to be a part of.
"To walk down those stairs, every single player commented on how special it was to walk down: You could hear a pin drop. The respect shown by everyone in the stadium was incredible.
"To be able to sing the national anthem, with a full house, just about to represent your country was brilliant.
"I feel really glad with whoever decided to put this game on; it felt like almost a celebration of the Queen's life today.
"It felt good to be out there representing the badge like we today."
Sky Sports Cricket's Michael Atherton said:
"An extraordinary moment, that was - to reflect on a life of incredible service. Incredibly moving.
"I think cricket has got it right this 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."
Sky Sports Cricket's Kevin Pietersen:
"Spinetingling. The goosebumps...just absolutely everything about this morning was unique.
"It was quite extraordinary the way that minute of silence was respected. You could hear a pin drop here in south London this morning.
"It was probably one of the most respected minutes of silence I have ever witnessed. I get goosebumps now just thinking about the clap and the applause just post the minute's silence and national anthems."
Sky Sports Cricket's Nasser Hussain:
"Yesterday was the right thing to do, to call cricket off - out of respect to Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family, and given what she meant to everyone.
"But also it gave a day to the ECB to judge the mood of a nation and go through that royal protocol.
"Once they worked out that it was for each individual sport to make up their mind whether it could go ahead, I think it's the right thing to do.
"We know how much she loved her sport and her cricket. I think she'd have wanted a celebration of her life."
Former England captain Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports:
"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.
"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."