The England cricket team is forced to select a new playing XI after seven members of the team tested positive for coronavirus Tuesday.
As per reports, three players and four members of the backroom staff have tested positive for the virus. The team will now be led by Ben Stokes, as most of the players will undergo isolation.
England play Pakistan in the first ODI in Cardiff on Thursday, July 8.
England skipper Eoin Morgan had earlier said it would be too soon to consider Stokes as a member of the playing XI. The all-rounder was out of the squad for the past several weeks due to an injured finger.
The rest of the new team to face Pakistan will be named later on Tuesday.
‘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,” said ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison.
“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.
“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.”
The Royal London ODI Series
1st ODI: England v Pakistan, Thursday 8 July 2021, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
2nd ODI: England v Pakistan, Saturday 10 July 2021, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London.
3rd ODI: England v Pakistan, Tuesday 13 July 2021, Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The Pakistan team has already reached England to play a T20I and ODI series and had remained in isolation in Derby after which they had started their training.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam had said that the England series would be helpful in the team’s preparation for the World Cup and warned that England is not an easy opponent.
Skipper Azam said Pakistan’s performance in the previous tours had been good, however, he warned of any complacency.
“The English team will not be an easy opponent on their home ground. This is a good opportunity for World Cup preparation.”
Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab)
Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern)
Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab)
Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab)
Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Haider Ali (Northern)
Haris Rauf (Northern)
Haris Sohail (Balochistan)
Hasan Ali (Central Punjab)
Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh)
Mohammad Nawaz (Northern)
Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab)
Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper) (Sindh)
Saud Shakeel (Sindh)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)