England’s white-ball squads have self-isolated them two days before the beginning of their ODI series against Pakistan after a major Covid-19 outbreak.
According to the tests administered in Bristol on Monday, three players and four support staff have shown positive results, while the rest of the group considered in close contact with them had to self-isolate as well.
However, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) have insisted the three-match series against Pakistan to carry on, scheduled to start on Thursday.
A new team, to be led by star all-rounder Ben Stokes, is expected to be announced later Tuesday.
Stokes, who has been recovering to full fitness by playing for county side Durham after a finger injury during a match in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is now appearing first time in England since March.
ECB CEO Tom Harrison stated: “We were aware that the emergence of the Delta variant, and our move away from the strict enforcement of bio-secure environments, could result in increased chances of an outbreak.
“We made a plan to try to adapt measures, that could support the overall well-being of our players as well as management staff who have spent the last 14 months living in very limited conditions.
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“We have worked overnight quickly to identify a new squad, and we are much thankful to Ben Stokes who will return to England as a captain,” he added.