A NURSE with a passion for cricket is set to make her mark when international action returns later this month.

England's male Test match players will return to the pitch after the coronavirus lockdown on Wednesday July 8 and they will be paying tribute to fellow cricketers who have made a difference during the crisis.

The team will have the names of cricket-playing key workers on their training shirts before they take on the West Indies and Emily Blakemore from Astwood Bank Cricket Club is among players chosen to be recognised.

Emily Blakemore said: “It’s going to be an absolute honour to see one of the England men’s players come out while wearing my name on the back of their shirt.

"It has been such a difficult time for so many people, and there’s still a lot of hard work ahead, but it’s exciting that we’ll be able to see some cricket again.

"The cricket family has really pulled together at a tough time and I can’t wait until we can get playing at my club again.

"Until then, hopefully Joe Root and the team can give us something to cheer about. Summer isn’t summer without cricket.”

The people named on the shirts have all been nominated by their local cricket clubs and include teachers, doctors, nurses, carers, social workers and other vital professions.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will be online telling the stories of named workers, including Emily, who has been treating Covid-19 patients during the pandemic.

The ECB paid tribute to Emily, in a statement it said: " As well as providing vital support to those most in need, she is a dedicated player for Astwood Bank Cricket Club where she also volunteers in the junior section, inspiring the next generation of cricketers.

"Those who know her say she’s a huge role model to all, always staying positive despite working in very tough circumstances."

England men’s Test captain, Joe Root, said: “We’ve waited a long time for this moment, and we wouldn’t be here without the West Indies – we are so grateful to them for making the tour happen. As we get back to playing the game we love, we want to take the time to honour the brave key workers who went into bat for their country under the toughest circumstances.

"It’s only fitting that we use this series as an opportunity to ‘raise a bat’ in their honour. We’ll wear their names with pride.”