England team has suffered a major setback ahead of its limited-overs series against Pakistan, starting from July 8. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday confirmed that seven members of the team, including three players and four supporting staff members, have tested positive for novel coronavirus.
The entire England squad, including the likes of Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, will now have to self-isolate.
ECB hasn’t revealed the names of the COVID-19 positive players yet. However, the board has made it clear that the ongoing Vitality T20 Blast and the white-ball series against Pakistan will go as planned.
‘‘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,” said England Cricket CEO 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 last 14 months living in very restricted conditions,” he added.
Notably, instead of regular limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, veteran all-rounder Ben Stokes will be leading England in the series against the Men in Green.
The first ODI of the three-match series between England and Pakistan is scheduled to be played at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.