Why are England cricketers wearing black armbands today? Reason cricket team is paying respect to Ted Dexter

England opening batsmen Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed walked out to the Headingley middle wearing black armbands today (26 August)

England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed enter the field wearing black arm bands in memory of former England player Ted Dexter during day two of the Third Test Match between England and India at Emerald Headingley Stadium on August 26, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Pic: Getty)

England cricketers are wearing black armbands on day two of the third Test against India.

Eagle eyed viewers spotted the addition to the usual attire worn by England's cricket team as they entered the Headingley outfield from the changing rooms.

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Batters Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed carried on where they left off last night as England look to establish a commanding first innings lead over India who are one up in the series.

Here's why England's cricketers are wearing black armbands today - Thursday 26 August 2021.

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Why are England wearing black armbands?

England's cricketers have decided to wear black armbands today as a mark of respect for a former England captain Ted Dexter who recently passed away.

“After a recent illness he passed away peacefully in the Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton at midday yesterday, surrounded by his family,” an MCC statement read.

“Ted was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and one of England’s greatest ever cricketers. He was captain in 30 of his 62 Test matches and played the game with the same sense of adventure and fun that captures much of the story of his remarkable life.”

England said on Twitter their players would wear black armbands during today’s second day of the third Test against India at Headingley in memory of Dexter.

Who was Ted Dexter?

Ted Dexter captained England 30 times and made 62 Test appearances in total.

He scored 4,502 runs as a powerful middle-order batsman and took 66 wickets for his country.

His on field contributions didn't go unnoticed and he was named Wisden cricketer of the year in 1961.

Known as ‘Lord Ted’, Dexter was famed for his bravery on the field, both for England and with his county side Sussex.

He scored nine Test hundreds and averaged just under 48, going on to chair England’s panel of selectors after his playing career.

Dexter was awarded a CBE in 2001 and was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame earlier this year - only 27 men have scored more Test runs for England.

Tributes to Ted Dexter

Mike Atherton told Sky Sports that Dexter would be remembered for the way he lived his life.

“People won’t remember him for numbers, they will remember the way he played the game,” he said. “He was a great stylist who played with great flair and adventure.

“It’s a day to celebrate a full and varied life, 86 – he squeezed every last drop out of life. I was very fond of him. He gave me my first cap and made me captain – and then resigned during my first game!

“You’re remembered for how you played, rather than the numbers and he played the game the right way. He’d turn up to selection meetings on his bike in his leathers, with his suit underneath with the averages in a briefcase.

“He was one of those people who lived life to the full.”

David Lloyd said Dexter was “debonair and lived life in the fast lane”.

The former England coach said: “He had a fast bike and loved fast cars. I was looking after the England Under-14s and 15s and he came along to see who was around. There was (Andrew) Flintoff, (Marcus) Trescothick, (Anthony) McGrath, (Vikram) Solanki… I thought I need to introduce myself and say who the players are.

“He got out of this drop-top sports car and said, ‘Would you like a spin in my new car?'”

Present-day England captain Joe Root told Sky Sports: “It’s a really sad day, ex-captain and selector, played a huge amount for England, a brilliant servant to the game, it’s terribly sad to hear and hopefully we can put on a performance in his memory.”

Dexter was a huge fan of Root’s, and the Yorkshireman added: “I never had the pleasure of spending much time with him, but he did send me some emails out of the blue when I wasn’t playing so well telling me how to get back to where I was.”