The English national squad were in Bristol for the 3rd ODI vs Sri Lanka and the same squad was to travel to Cardiff for Pakistan series.
The final ODI was played on the 4th of July and the same day covid reports of 7 involved with the English team tested positive, 3 players and 4 backroom staff. ECB are yet to made the names public. Each member associated with the English squad was atleast single dose vaccinated. As per the guidelines the entire squad is a close contact and have to be in isolation for 10 days. They will be set free on 14th of July with a few negative reports and will miss the Pakistan ODI series ending on the 13th. ECB have also named a new look “inexperienced” squad for the Pakistan series led by Ben Stokes for ODI’S.
HOW HAVE THE ECB RESPONDED ? ASHLEY GILES, The managing director said England are working on a knife edge after the squad being hit with the coronavirus outbreak and also stated the team’s bubble was a safe team environment. The aim is to get them (members involved) home as quickly as possible and each case needs to be treated individually and risk assessed. We are not gambling and are confident there was no bubble breach. He ended saying there are new challenges and we’ll do everything possible. We’re all aware of the mental pressures this causes, all of our people and we’ve got to try and work our way through that.
So, not a bubble breach but with the squad being hit, there will be investigation done for sure one’s things normalise a bit in the bubble. The ECB before this tour had stated that the players were in strict bubbles for long and now there will be some relaxations. There will be a check on if the relaxations were set during this series and has that little relaxation of minimum risk costed them a lot.
TOM HARRISON, ECB CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER STATED : We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio secure 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.
RETURN OF STOKES English captain, Eoin Morgan a couple of days back said there will be no rush with the return of Stokes and Buttler from injuries. Unexpected scenarios see the return of Stokes early and will lead England tomorrow as they play Pakistan for a 6 match white-ball series. Ben Stokes has been actively playing games for Durham post his recovery and is set for a new role on his return to the English squad.
9 uncapped players and Ben Stokes first time to captain the ODI side. REVISED SQUAD – Ben Stokes (Captain), Jake Ball, Danny Briggs, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Lewis Gregory, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Phil Salt, John Simpson, James Vince.
An expect name that’s missed out is Alex Hales and there been a lot of talking on this. Hales has not played for England after being removed from the world cup squad for an off-field activity back in 2019 and since then there is no recall for him despite having big runs under his belt. ECB might official speak something on this in near future as the British media is constantly raising question on Hales return to the international set-up.
3 ODI’S and 3 T20I’S vs Pakistan is England’s scheduled starting tomorrow till the 20th. With the T20’s starting on the 16th there is a slim chance of having few players from the original “isolated” squad.