England will be led by Ben Stokes against Pakistan after seven players tested positive for COVID-19.


Following PCR tests given in Bristol on Monday, seven members of England’s ODI and T20I squad tested positive for COVID-19. Ben Stokes is expected to captain England in the ODIs against Pakistan.

The limited-overs tour will go ahead as planned, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Three players and four members of management were among those who tested positive.

Because the entire current England squad will be required to self-isolate, a new squad will be named for the ODIs and T20Is in a matter of hours.

To ensure a safe introduction to the England camp, the new squad and their support personnel will undergo PCR tests and other processes.

Tom Harrison, England Cricket’s CEO, said:
‘‘We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of biosecure 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. 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.”

Eoin Morgan captained the initial England squad, which included Joe Root, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Jason Roy, and Jonny Bairstow.

The Pakistani visit to England will take place as planned.
Pakistan’s visit of England will proceed as planned, with the first ODI set to begin on Thursday in Cardiff. The three one-day internationals will be held on July 8 (Cardiff), July 10 (Lord’s), and July 13 (Lord’s) (Birmingham).

From July 16, three Twenty20 Internationals will be played. Nottingham (July 16), Leeds (July 18), and Manchester (July 19) will host the matches (July 20).

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