“Following PCR tests administered yesterday (Monday) in Bristol, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) can confirm that seven members – three players and four management team members – of the England Men’s ODI party have tested positive for COVID-19,” the ECB said in a statement.
The ECB has confirmed the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead as scheduled.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, commented: ‘‘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 recognize 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.’’