An outbreak of covid-19 in the camp has forced England to now select new players for the one-day international against Pakistan. Three players, as well as four staff, have tested positive for the virus so far.
For now, the only name being considered is Ben Stokes who has been away for some time now due to a fractured finger. Although Eion Morgan has raised concerns that Stokes may not be fully fit for the game which begins on Thursday. The other members of the new squad would be named on Tuesday. The rest members of the affected squad are currently quarantined and have received one dose of covid vaccine. Chris Silverwood, who was unavailable last week when England faced Sri Lanka, would be available this week as they face Pakistan.
Speaking on the development, Tom Harrison, who is the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said, noted that the board has been very concerned about the new strain of the coronavirus, the delta variant, and how it could affect future competitions; “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.”
According to the new arrangement, Stokes would be captain of the new squad, which would include nine other uncapped players. This could seriously hamper England’s performance in the upcoming ODI. But it is not this fixture England has to be worried about as they still have three T20s to play before the start of the world cup. For that to happen, their first 10 have to fully recover just in time.
Written by: Leon Osamor