England's stand-in captain Ben Stokes and all the players in the squad paid tribute to the key workers ahead of the start of the Southampton Test against West Indies by wearing the names of the doctors, nurses, teachers and carer on their training jerseys.
Each of the players of the host nation took the field at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday morning wearing the name of key workers on their shirts. These names were nominated by their local club in a way of thanking them for their tireless efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Stokes, who will be leading the England side in the absence of regular-captain Joe Root, wore the shirt with the name of Dr Vikas Kumar of anesthetics at the Darlington Memorial Hospital and is also an amateur-level cricketer.
"We're only able to play this Test match because of the amazing job that key workers up and down the country have done to help us through this pandemic," said Stokes.
"Wearing their names is a real honour for us, a small sign of our appreciation for the incredible work they have done.
"They have truly gone in to bat for us all, and it makes me proud of how the whole cricket family has responded to help us get through these unprecedented times."
Each of these key workers will later receive the shirt bearing their name and signed by the player or the coach who wore them.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "Along with fans up and down the country, we are very excited that our England men's players are back on the cricket field. However, we will never forget those we've lost and the sacrifices made by so many people during this pandemic.
"Key workers and volunteers have often put their own lives on the line to keep us safe. It's right that we say a small thank you to some of those who have done us so proud."