The England cricket camp has been struck with a massive COVID-19 outbreak after seven members of the contingent, including three players and four management staff, tested positive for the virus. Consequently, the whole white-ball squad that played against Sri Lanka has gone into immediate isolation. With England set to take on Pakistan in just a couple of days, a completely new squad, led by Ben Stokes will take part in the series. The new squad will be announced later today.
The first choice players along with stand-in coach Paul Collingwood are likely to miss the whole ODI series against Pakistan. The outbreak also means that England Coach Chris Silverwood, who was on a break, has to rush back to take charge of the new England team.
ECB confirmed there has been a breach in the biosecure bubble and COVID-19 has found its way into the white ball camp. While it’s not clear how the protocols was breached, the Board will launch an investigation to find out the cause.
“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,” the ECB said in a statement.
The first ODI between England and Pakistan will be played at Cardiff on July 8. The squad for the ODI series will be announced later today. The team will be led by Ben Stokes, who was playing for Durham in the T20 Blast, while several other domestic England players are likely to be included in the squad.
“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,” he added.
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