Galle Test: England Players Wear Black Armbands to Tribute Ex-Players Edrich And Jackman
Stuart Broad celebrates Sri Lanka's wicket with England captain Joe Root on day 1 of the first Test in Galle©ENG-Twitter

England have started their Sri Lanka tour on an impressive note, skittling out the home team for a paltry 135 in the first innings of the first Test, being played at the Galle International Stadium on Thursday. Off-spinner Dom Bess took a career-best 5/30 as injury-hit Sri Lanka were bowled out inside the first two sessions of the first Test. Apart from Bess, veteran pacer Stuart Broad also made his presence felt by picking up 3/30 against an experienced batting unit. Stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal, who won the toss and opted to bat Thursday, top-scored with 28 after regular skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled out with a fractured thumb.

Beyond the impressive cricket, the black armbands worn by England’s men in white have also caught the eye of fans. The visiting team players wore armbands in tribute to the late John Edrich and Robin Jackman. He also top-scored in cricket’s first-ever one-day international in Melbourne in 1971, scoring 82 off 119 balls against Australia. Edrich died on December 23 in his home in north Scotland at the age of 83. He had been living with leukaemia since 2000.

Edrich was also remembered for his contribution in County club – Surrey. The club opened the John Edrich Gates at the Pavilion End of the Kia Oval to honour their player.

Robin Jackman, a teammate of Edrich’s at Surrey, played four Tests and 15 one day internationals for his England. He was passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 75. Jackman claimed took 1402 wickets in a 399-game first-class career that spanned between 1966 and 1982.

Following his retirement, he became a successful commentator in South Africa, where he lived with his wife Yvonn.

Jackman made his ODI debut for England in 1974 but had to wait until 1981 to play his first match in the traditional format. His presence in England’s XI during the tour of the West Indies where his presence caused controversy. The Guyanese government revoked his visa because of his involvement in cricket during the apartheid era in South Africa. The incident led to the second Test being cancelled.

But he was eventually given the go-ahead to play in the next Test in Bridgetown, where he took five wickets in an England loss.

The duo played together at Surrey and the County’s chairman Ricard Thompson paid tribute to the pair of greats following their deaths in December.

“With the news of losing one Surrey great in John Edrich and now 24hrs later to have Jackers taken from us too soon is a huge blow to the club.

“Robin was a genuine Surrey great. Winning a County Championship, being a Wisden Cricketer of the Year and taking over 1400 first-class wickets puts him in a very special category.”