England cricketers, led by captain Joe Root, are paying tribute to war veteran Sir Tom Moore who passed away earlier this week at the age of 100 after contracting coronavirus. Moore caught global attention when he raised 39m for National Health Service (NHS) charities by walking 100 laps of his Marston Moretaine garden during the first lockdown in Britain last year.

England players, who are in India for a four-match Test series, are wearing black armbands as a mark of respect to Moore. “The England team are wearing black armbands in respect of inspirational war veteran and fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died aged 100 earlier this week after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Friday.

Moore had tested positive for coronavirus last week. However, he couldn’t be vaccinated for the deadly virus since he was receiving other medication for pneumonia.

“We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime. We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together,” the statement released on behalf of his two daughters read.

Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first on Friday. The outcome of this series will decide who out of India, England and Australia will face New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship later this year in June.

The Tests will be followed by five T20Is (all in Ahmedabad) and three ODIs (all in Pune).

England playing XI for first Test: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, James Anderson