According to recent reports, England’s limited-overs squad has been forced to undergo a mandatory self-isolation for two days before the start of the ODI series against Pakistan following seven players testing positive Covid-19 among the team’s players and management.
Confirming the same in a statement ECB said, “In collaboration with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Bristol Local Health Authority, those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation from July 4 following the UK Government’s protocol on quarantine. The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate.”
Announcing the same on Instagram, England cricket wrote: “We can confirm that seven members of the England Men’s ODI party have tested positive for COVID-19. Those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation. The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate. The Royal London ODIs and the Vitality T20Is against Pakistan will go ahead, @stokesy will return to England duties and captain the squad.”
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The reports also suggest that England will be announcing new squad for the T20I series and Ben Stokes will be leading the team.
On the other hand, ECB’s chief executive, Tom Harrison said, “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, 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.”
He further explained, “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.”