PCB satisfied with ECB’s existing protocols for Pakistan team’s safety

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Pakistan, England cricket team members walk off the pitch after the match ends. Photo: AFP
Pakistan, England cricket team members walk off the pitch after the match ends. Photo: AFP
  • Seven members of the England cricket team have tested positive for coronavirus. 
  • “PCB feels comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place,” says the board. 
  • Board advises team management to exercise “extra caution” at the hotel and the match venues.

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the “assurances and guarantees” given by the England Cricket Board (ECB) over existing protocols in place for the Pakistan cricket team and support staff’s safety. 

The PCB responded to seven members of the England cricket team testing positive for coronavirus. Three are players while four members of the support staff tested positive for the infection.  

“Pakistan Cricket Board has been in close contact with the England and Wales Cricket Board regarding concerns about the health and safety of its players since the news of Covid-19 outbreak in the England camp,” said the board in a statement. 

“The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel,” said the PCB. 

The cricket board said it “feels comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place to ensure all the Pakistan players and player support staff remain safe and secure”. 

The PCB said it has been in touch with the team management, advising them to exercise “extra caution” at the hotel and the match venues.

Massive setback for England as 7 team members test positive for COVID-19

The English cricket team were rocked with the news that three players and four members of the backroom staff had tested positive for the virus, forcing the whole squad to go into isolation.

The team will now be led by Ben Stokes, who was out after suffering an injury to the finger. 

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.

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.”

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