England Squad Isolate With 7 Positive COVID-19 Cases Ahead of Pak Series
The ECB stated that the positive cases were confirmed following the PCR tests done on Monday in Bristol.
With the ODI series against Pakistan around the corner, England have been hit hard as 7 people in the team tested COVID-19 positive. Among the seven are three players and four members of the support staff.
All of the rest in the England squad are considered to be close contacts and will isolate immediately.
The Pakistan series is still expected to go ahead, an official release said, with Ben Stokes set to take on the captaincy of a revised squad. Stokes hasn’t played a game since his return from the IPL.
Head coach Chris Silverwood will also return to the new squad as he had been taking a break before next month's Test series against India.
The ECB also stated that the positive cases were confirmed following the PCR tests done on Monday in Bristol. They will now undergo a period of isolation as per UK Government's protocol on quarantine.
The 10-day isolation period the squad will face will will span all three ODIs against Pakistan.
"We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak," ECB CEO Tom Harrison said. "We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions."
"Overnight we have worked swiftly to identify a new squad, and we are grateful to Ben Stokes who will return to England duties to captain.
"We also recognise the impact this news will have on our First Class Counties and their Men's playing squads and thank them, along with our partners Sky and Royal London, for their ongoing support in dealing with this pandemic."
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