England announces new squad for Pakistan series after virus cases

Ben Stokes will captain England Men's ODI side for the first time

LONDON: England Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a new 18-member squad for the Royal London Series against Pakistan after seven members of the England squad tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement came after three members of the initial playing group and four members of the management staff had tested positive for COVID-19, and consequently the entire squad initially selected was required to isolate.

Ben Stokes will return to the squad to captain the side and Chris Silverwood, who had been due to take some time away during the white-ball series, is back as Head Coach. In total, there are nine uncapped players in the squad.

Incoming squad players and support staff will now undergo PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure their safe entry into the England camp.

Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles, said, “It’s a great opportunity to play on the biggest stage, and for most of the players selected it’s not necessarily something they would have been expecting 24 hours ago.”

“We’re in unprecedented territory, in terms of replacing an entire squad and management team, and I’m very proud of how everyone has come together in order to get it done – both those within the ECB and from the county game,” Giles said.

England Men’s ODI Squad

  • Ben Stokes (Durham, captain)
  • Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)
  • Danny Briggs (Warwickshire)
  • Brydon Carse (Durham)
  • Zak Crawley (Kent)
  • Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire)
  • Lewis Gregory (Somerset)
  • Tom Helm (Middlesex)
  • Will Jacks (Surrey)
  • Dan Lawrence (Essex)
  • Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)
  • Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)
  • Craig Overton (Somerset)
  • Matt Parkinson (Lancashire)
  • David Payne (Gloucestershire)
  • Phil Salt (Sussex)
  • John Simpson (Middlesex)
  • James Vince (Hampshire)

PCB’s statement

According to a statement issued today (Tuesday), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been in close contact with the ECB regarding concerns about the health and safety of its players since the news of COVID-19 outbreak in England camp was shared.

“The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel, and feel comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place to ensure all the Pakistan players and player support staff remain safe and secure throughout the duration of the series,” it added.

“The PCB has also been in touch with its team management and has advised them to exercise extra caution while in the hotel or at the match venue,” it concluded.

Seven members tested positive

PCR tests administered in Bristol on Monday showed three as yet unnamed players and four support staff returning positive results, with the rest of the group deemed to be close contacts and having to self-isolate as well.

However, the ECB insisted the three-match series against Pakistan, due to start in Cardiff on Thursday, will go ahead. After Thursday´s match in Cardiff, the ODI series continues at Lord´s on Saturday before finishing at Edgbaston in Birmingham a week on Tuesday.

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