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COVID outbreak forces England to select new cricket squad

Last updated on: July 06, 2021 16:11 IST
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England name nine uncapped players in new squad for series against Pakistan

England team

IMAGE: England team at a training session. Photograph: England Cricket/Twitter

England have had to select an entirely new squad for their limited-overs series against Pakistan after three players and four staff members tested positive for COVID-19, the country's cricket board (ECB) said on Tuesday.



Two days before the series gets underway with the first of the three One-dayers in Cardiff.

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.

Seven members of the England contingent tested positive in Bristol on Monday, after the final match of a One-day series against Sri Lanka.

"...those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation from July 4 following the UK Government's protocol on quarantine," the ECB said in a statement.

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

Managing Director of England Men's Cricket, Ashley Giles, in an official release, 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 a 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 PCB for their support and understanding during this time," he added.

England are due to face Pakistan in three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches.

All-rounder Stokes has been out of action since injuring his finger at the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year.

Incoming squad and support team members will have PCR tests and follow bridging protocols to ensure safe entry to camp.

England ODI Squad: Ben Stokes (c), Jake Ball, Danny Briggs, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Phil Salt, John Simpson and James Vince. 

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