Why is England wearing black armbands for the Boxing Day Test?

England again wear black armbands, with former captain, coach and president-elect Ray Illingworth dying at the age of 89.

When the first Ashes Test of the 2021-22 series kicked off at Gabba in Brisbane, England were wearing black armbands for female cricket pioneer Eileen Ash, who was the oldest living test cricket player and she remains the longest-living international cricketer.

The visitors again took on the black armbands on Christmas Day after Illingworth walked away in the run-up to the match.

In addition, the first day of the test fell on the anniversary of the death of star all-rounder Ben Stokes’ father, Gerard.

Gerard was an international rugby league player for New Zealand, but Ben grew up in England while his father coached at the end of his career.

The black armband Stokes bar had the number 568 on it – his father was the 568. New Zealand rugby league international.

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