A Covid-19 outbreak in England’s one-day squad has made the entire squad to enter isolation ahead of their first ODI against Pakistan.
BREAKING NEWS: The ECB have confirmed that 3 players and 4 staff have tested positive for COVID.
Ben Stokes will captain a new squad for series vs Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/jAewQe90He
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) July 6, 2021
Seven members – including three players and four coaching staff – have tested positive for the virus, forcing the entire squad and the support staff to enter isolation after being deemed as close contacts. The England and Wales Cricket Board have not made the identity of the name’s public however some players who have tested positive are said to be experiencing some symptoms of the virus.
The reports suggest that the bio-bubbles in place this summer are a little more relaxed for the England players compared to last year due to the fatigue caused by constant restrictions. However, this case – along with the IPL (link IPL suspended post) outbreak in May – is a timely reminder the sport still has to be vigilant and deal with this virus for the time being.
What has been said?
In a statement released by the ECB, CEO Tom Harrison has stated ‘‘We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of biosecure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak. We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, 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.’’
Will the series go ahead?
The series will continue to be played as scheduled and Ben Stokes will return from injury to lead a new-look England side picked from the County circuit.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 6, 2021
The ECB have announced a new squad for this series which includes nine potential debutants.
Full Squad: Ben Stokes, Jake Ball, Danny Briggs, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Phil Salt, John Simpson, James Vince
Will there be crowds?
Despite recent developments, there will be 3,000 fans for the first ODI in Cardiff while the capacity for the second and third ODI’s at Lord’s and Edgbaston are set at 100% and 80%.
[Image Credit: England’s Barmy Army]