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COVID-19: England cricket team forced to isolate after seven coronavirus cases

Written by on 6 July 2021

England have been forced to select a new team for the Pakistan ODI series after the whole squad went into isolation due to seven COVID cases.

Three players and four members of the management team tested positive after taking PCR tests.

In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board 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 4 July following the UK government’s protocol on quarantine.

England players walk off the field at the end of Sri Lankan innings during the third one day international cricket match between England and Sri Lanka, at Bristol County Ground in Bristol. Image: The ECB had named an unchanged side for the ODI series against Pakistan, which begins on Thursday in Cardiff

“The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate.

“The ECB have confirmed the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead. Ben Stokes will return to England duties and captain the squad – which will be named in the next few hours.”

The isolation period will span all three ODIs against Pakistan, which start on Thursday in Cardiff,

Thursday’s match at Sophia Gardens is followed by games at Lords on 10 July and Edgbaston three days later.

England then play three T20 fixtures against Pakistan on the 16, 18 and 20 July.

Ben Stokes, who fractured his finger in April, will captain the new side on his return to action Image: Ben Stokes, who fractured his finger in April, will captain the new side on his return to action

The ECB had named the same squad for the Pakistan series as the 16 that recently played Sri Lanka.

This included the likes of captain Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Joe Root and Mark Wood.

England comfortably won the ODI series 2-0, after the final match in Bristol was abandoned due to bad weather.

Stokes had missed the Sri Lanka series after he suffered a fractured index finger while fielding in the Indian Premier League in April.

Dan Lawrence made his test debut in Sri Lanka in January and hit an unbeaten 81 against New Zeland in the second test last month Image: Dan Lawrence made his test debut in Sri Lanka in January

He returned to action last month for Durham but Morgan said he would not be rushed back to international duty and was set to miss the series against Pakistan.

The ECB has named an 18-man squad to replace the original group, including nine uncapped players.

Test batsmen Zak Crawley and Dan Lawrence have their first opportunity in ODI cricket and they are joined by Durham’s Brydon Carse, Middlesex pair Tom Helm and John Simpson, Surrey’s Will Jacks, Gloucestershire’s David Payne, Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Phil Salt of Sussex.

Returning to the fold after absences are Craig Overton, Danny Briggs, Jake Ball, Ben Duckett and James Vince.

Zak Crawley batted at number three in last month's test series against New Zealand, where he hit just 21 runs in two matches. This is his first opportunity in the one-day format Image: Zak Crawley batted at number three in last month’s test series against New Zealand

Former England spin bowler and managing director of men’s cricket at the ECB, 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.

“It’s an exciting group of players, with some young talent and some players who have impressed at domestic level over a long period of time.

“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.

“Ben hasn’t captained our ODI side before so it’s a huge honour for him. We all wish him well and it’s a role I’m sure he’ll thrive in.

“I’d like to also put on record the thanks of the ECB to the Pakistan Cricket Board for their support and understanding during this time.”