Three England cricketers infected with Covid 19, ODI squad in isolation; Stokes to lead against Pakistan

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Covid 19 Tests on Monday (July 5), a day after the team’s last ODI against Sri Lanka in Bristol, revealed seven infections among three players and four staff. None were named so far. In the event, a new ODI squad will be picked for the white ball series against Pakistan.

The squad has gone into isolation dating from Sunday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement. Ben Stokes will return to the side and will lead instead of regular skipper Eoin Morgan.

The six-match limited-overs series against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday (July 7) with the first ODI in Cardiff, was still going ahead. England planned to name a new squad on Tuesday (July 6) to be captained by Ben Stokes.

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“We have been mindful that the emergence of the delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio-secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said.

“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.”

“We have been prepared for this moment, and mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak,” Sky Sports quoted Harrison.

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“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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