In a recent development, England men's cricket team have been forced to select a new team for the ODI series against Pakistan after as many as seven members tested COVID-19 positive which pushed the entire squad into isolation. It is being learned that captain Eoin Morgan has also returned positive for the infection along with two other players and four members of the support staff. The remaining members of the squad have all been deemed close contacts and are currently under quarantine.
Despite the Coronavirus outbreak in the English side, the ODI series against Pakistan will go ahead as scheduled as the Three Lions are set to announce a new team with Ben Stokes as the skipper.
The three match ODI series is set to commence on July 8 and culminate on 13th. The rest of the Stokes-led new team is set to be named on Tuesday. It should be noted that earlier Morgan had himself admitted that it would be too early to select Stokes, who was in the sidelines owing to a fractured finger, but now he has returned to the setup.
We are grateful to Ben Stokes: ECB official
''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," Tom Harrison, chief executive at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was quoted as saying.
"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 14 months living in very restricted conditions. 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," he added.
"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 further said.