Ben Stokes is set to lead a new England team to face Pakistan in an upcoming international series against Pakistan following a major Covid-19 outbreak, the England-Wales Council announced on Tuesday.
Tests in Bristol on Monday showed that three players and four support staff returned positive results, with the rest of the team being considered close contacts and having to be isolated as well.
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Following the PCR tests held yesterday (Monday) in Bristol, the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) can confirm that seven members – three players and four members of the management team – of the ODI English Men’s Party have tested positive for COVID -19, “the ECB said in a statement.
However, the ECB insisted that the series of three games against Pakistan, which is scheduled to start on Thursday, would proceed.
Tom Harrison, Executive Director of the ECB, said: “We are aware that the emergence of the Delta variant, together with our move away from strictly enforcing biologically safe environments, could increase the likelihood of an outbreak. We made a strategic choice to try to adapt the protocols in order to support the general well-being of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very limited conditions.
“Overnight, we have been working hard to find a new team and we are grateful to Ben Stokes for returning to England as captain. We also recognize the impact this news will have on the first tier counties and their male players and thank you. , together with our partners Sky and Royal London, for their continued support in tackling this pandemic “.
Ben Stokes (capt), Jake Ball, Danny Briggs, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, David Malan, Craig Overton, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Phil Salt , John Simpson (wkt), James Vince