Many times, cricket fans have seen teams with black armbands. Recently, the Indian cricket team wore the black armband in the 2022 ICC (International Cricket Council) World Test Championship final, which had all sportsbooks listing point spreads against New Zealand.
The real reason why cricketers wear black armbands in a match is that it is a sign of respect. When some unexpected event occurs, causing mass deaths or the death of well-known personalities, a cricket team wears a black armband to show respect and support for people affected by adversity.
The first time a cricket team used them was to mark a death of a different nature. The black armbands debuted at the 2003 Cricket World Cup through Zimbabwean players Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. They both wore one to mark the death of democracy in their home country. The idea stuck.
India Brings Armbands To The ICC
The Indian team, who reached the inaugural final of the 2022 ICC World Test Championship, wore the black armband as they entered the field on the second day of the test (the 1st day was rained out). The black armband was worn in honor of one of the greatest athletes, Milkha Singh, who succumbed to COVID-19.
Famously known as Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh lost his wife and former captain of the Indian volleyball team, Nirmal Saini, due to COVID-19. He was initially hospitalized at Fortis Hospital but was later transferred to a private hospital, where he b Five days later, at 91 years old, Singh passed, as well. Breathed his last. Five days later.
Singh left behind three daughters and a son. The Bollywood blockbuster “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was based on his life. Faran Akhtar played the role of Milkha Singh on screen. The movie was released in 2013 and got acclaim from all parts of the world.
India cricket team captain Virat Kohli sent his condolences to the Milkha Singh family. He shared a photo of him greeting Singh on Instagram. Kohli wrote, “A legacy that inspired an entire nation to aspire for excellence. Never give up, and follow your dreams. It will never be forgotten.” rest in peace, #MilkhaSingh Ji.
Australian Brings Armbands To ODI Game
This past August, Australian cricket players wore black armbands when they played Zimbabwe in a first ODI match. That was to pay tribute to former Australian player Andrew Symonds.
The previous month, Symonds passed away following a single-vehicle crash in Australia. He was 46 years old at the time, and his death was only a few months after two other former Australian cricket players, Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, passed away.
Symonds first took the pitch for Australia’s national team in 1998 when it played Pakistan in an ODI. Since that game, he has played 238 games for Australia, accumulating 6,887 runs on a strike rate of 86.53. He added eight centuries and 42 half-centuries during his career, including wins for the Australian team at the ICC Cricket World Cups in 2003 and 2007.
England Brings Armbands To T20 World Cup
England’s national team used the armbands this year, as well. When the team played Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup in November, its members had the armbands firmly in place. It was a way to honor the death of David English, who had passed away a day before the match.
English was a producer and actor and a former manager for Eric Clapton, but his biggest contribution to England was his involvement in cricket. He was responsible for creating the Bunbury Cricket Club and for keeping the Bunbury Festival, a series of tournaments for young cricket players, from going into bankruptcy.
Several professional cricket players owed their careers to English. Almost a dozen players on the 2019 World Cup-winning England team furthered their advancement through the Bunbury Festival, ultimately leading to the English receiving the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from the British Crown.