Cricket, golf, horse racing and rugby union suspended following Queen’s passing
Friday’s second day of play in the deciding Test between England and South Africa at the Oval has been postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
It is among several sporting fixtures to be called off following the monarch’s passing, including in golf, horse racing and rugby union. Other sports could follow suit.
The England Wales Cricket Board said: “Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Friday’s play between England and South Africa Men at The Oval, along with all scheduled matches in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, will not take place. For fixtures beyond Friday, updates will be provided in due course.”
Thursday’s scheduled opening day at the Oval did not see any play due to persistent rain in London. The series is evenly poised at 1-1.
Golf chiefs have also cancelled Friday’s play at the PGA Championship at Wentworth, the flagship event on the European circuit, the DP World Tour.
Play was suspended before the end of the first round, with 30 players still to finish. English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan shared the clubhouse lead with Norway’s Viktor Hovland on eight under par.
The European Tour group said: “Out of respect for Her Majesty and the Royal Family, play has been suspended at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club for the remainder of Thursday and flags at Wentworth Club will be lowered to half-mast.
“Furthermore, no play will take place at the BMW PGA Championship on Friday and the golf course and practice facilities will be closed. Further updates on the resumption of play will be provided in due course.”
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) called off Thursday evening’s programme and all of Friday’s planned races.
“Confirmation that, out of sadness regarding the passing of Her Majesty The Queen and recognition of her special bond with British horseracing, all racing is suspended for today and tomorrow [Friday],” the BHA said. “ A further announcement regarding racing from Saturday onwards will be made tomorrow [Friday].”
In rugby union, Northampton Saints postponed their Premiership Rugby Cup match with Saracens, which was due to take place on Thursday night. Uncertainty surrounds the start of the English league season, which is due to begin on Friday.
In football, Manchester United’s Europa League match at home to Real Sociedad and West Ham United’s fixture with FC FCSB at the London Stadium both went ahead.
Neither the Premier League nor English Football League has cancelled this weekend’s games yet, but the latter confirmed talks would continue with the Government and the rest of football over possible suspension of the schedule.
The EFL said: “Consideration in respect of EFL fixtures will be discussed with the Government and the wider sport sector during the period ahead and an appropriate announcement will be made at the earliest opportunity.”