Rugby and cricket clubs can play on despite death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Fylde RFC’s trip to Preston Grasshoppers and the final weekend of the Northern Premier Cricket League can go ahead as normal despite the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Although football has opted to postpone all of its weekend matches following the monarch’s passing on Thursday, cricket and rugby will continue.

Within hours of Thursday’s announcement, the England and Wales Cricket Board had confirmed Friday’s play in the Test between England and South Africa at The Oval would not take place.

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However, on Friday afternoon, the organisation confirmed that play would resume on Saturday following Government guidance.

Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers are set to meet on Saturday afternoon Picture: Daniel MartinoFylde and Preston Grasshoppers are set to meet on Saturday afternoon Picture: Daniel Martino
Fylde and Preston Grasshoppers are set to meet on Saturday afternoon Picture: Daniel Martino
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The official mourning guidance, which was published by the Government on Friday morning, stated there was no obligation on sports organisations to cancel or postpone events.

An ECB statement said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that play will resume from Saturday including international, domestic, and recreational fixtures.

“This means the Men’s Test match between England and South Africa will begin at The Oval and the Women’s IT20 match between England and India will also go ahead at the Riverside in Durham.

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“The scheduled match between England and Sri Lanka Men’s U19 along with recreational cricket fixtures will also take place as planned.

“Before each match, a minute’s silence will be observed followed by the national anthem. All players and coaches will wear black armbands.

“Branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying cricket's respects to The Queen.”

It means Blackpool and St Annes can conclude their Northern Premier Cricket League seasons against Fulwood and Broughton and Garstang respectively.

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Lytham can continue their push for the Liverpool Competition First Division title at Bootle, while Kirkham and Wesham host Great Eccleston in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield with Fleetwood and Thornton Cleveleys also due to play.

Fylde can make the trip to Hoppers, looking to follow up victory on the opening day of the season last weekend.

The club posted team news on their social media channels to confirm the match would be played after the Rugby Football Union had posted an update of its own.

The RFU’s statement said: “The overwhelming opinions shared so far within the game, are that teams and supporters want to come together to honour Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to be united in our grief as we express sorrow at her passing.

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“Rugby, at its heart, is about community and bringing people together, in good times and in sad.

“Rugby clubs are a source of strength and support during times of uncertainty, and we hope that by enabling games and other rugby activity to go ahead this weekend, with families and friends congregating it will help us all to unite at this time of national mourning.

“We strongly encourage all those playing sport this weekend to respectfully pay tribute to The Queen by holding a minute’s silence ahead of all fixtures this weekend. This an opportunity for teams from different areas to join together in honouring and celebrating her life.

“Guidance for matches and rugby activity for the remainder of the National Mourning Period will follow as early as possible next week.”