The COVID-19 pandemic has yet again created havoc as it has been confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that seven squad members of the Pakistan series have tested positive for the coronavirus. The seven members include three first-team players and four management team members.
The three players that tested positive are Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow who will spend 10 days in isolation and will follow the guidelines issued by the UK government.
England Cricket Team is set to play a limited over series against Pakistan starting with the first ODI from July 8 in Cardiff but after the routine RT-PCR test administered yesterday in Bristol, the shocking results came in.
“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,” said ECB CEO Tom Harrison.
Harrison also revealed that his board has spent the last 14 months managing these severe conditions. He further revealed that the series will carry on and Ben Stokes will lead the side for this series.
Ben Stokes is announced as the captain as Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan will remain unavailable. Stokes has just returned from an injury that didn’t allow him to play IPL 2021. Chris Silverwood is also back as head coach of the squad.
The ECB has also announced a revised squad for the series against Pakistan which has nine uncapped players: Ben Stokes (captain), 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.
Managing Director of the English Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles has said that this is a great opportunity for the uncapped players and they have been selected because of their impressive performances at the domestic cricket.
Giles also wished Ben Stokes well and said that it must be a huge honour for him to lead the side for the very first time.