The England cricket team have been forced to select a complete new team for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan as seven persons – including three cricketers – have returned positive for Covid-19, pushing the entire squad into isolation.
The ECB has confirmed that three players and four backroom staff have tested positive, with the rest of the squad deemed close contacts.
Despite the incident, the first ODI on Thursday will go ahead.
Ben Stokes will now lead the hosts while the rest of the new team will be named later on Tuesday.
“Following PCR tests administered yesterday (Monday) in Bristol, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) can confirm that seven members – three players and four management team members- of the England Men’s ODI party have tested positive for COVID-19. In collaboration with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Bristol Local Health Authority, those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation from July 4 following the UK Government’s protocol on quarantine. The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate,” a statement by England Cricket Board read.
“The ECB have confirmed the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead. Ben Stokes will return to England duties and captain the squad – which will be named in the next few hours. Incoming squad and support team members will follow PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure safe entry to camp,” the statement added.
England will take on Pakistan in three ODIs and as many T20Is, beginning in Cardiff on Thursday.