Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Entire England cricket team goes into isolation after seven positive Covid tests
6 July 2021, 09:26 | Updated: 6 July 2021, 09:39
England will name a new squad for their one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches against Pakistan after seven members of the party tested positive for coronavirus, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.
Three players and four management team members tested positive for Covid-19. The entire England one-day cricket team is self-isolating.
PCR tests administered in Bristol on Monday showed three players and four members of staff returned positive results and the remainder of the group were classified as close contacts, forcing them to isolate in line with public health guidelines.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has resolved to play on with a hastily-convened shadow side, captained by the returning Ben Stokes.
Stokes, who has been on the recovery trail with Durham following surgery on a finger injury sustained while on Indian Premier League duty, is set for his first England appearance since March in this three-match series.
ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison said: "We have been 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.
"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 last 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."