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COVID cases force England cricket team to isolate two days before Pakistan series

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England have been forced to select a new team for the Pakistan ODI series after the whole squad went into isolation due to seven COVID cases.

Three players and four members of the management team tested positive after taking PCR tests.

In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “In collaboration with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Bristol Local Health Authority, those impacted will now observe a period of self-isolation from July 4 following the UK government’s protocol on quarantine.

England players walk off the field at the end of Sri Lankan innings during the third one day international cricket match between England and Sri Lanka, at Bristol County Ground in Bristol.
Image: The ECB had named an unchanged side for the ODI series against Pakistan, which begins on Thursday in Cardiff

“The remaining members of the party have been deemed close contacts and will also isolate.

“The ECB have confirmed the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead. Ben Stokes will return to England duties and captain the squad – which will be named in the next few hours.”

The isolation period will span all three ODIs against Pakistan, which start on Thursday in Cardiff,

Thursday’s match at Sophia Gardens is followed by games at Lords on 10 July and Edgbaston three days later.

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England then play three T20 fixtures against Pakistan on the 16, 18 and 20 July.

Ben Stokes, who fractured his finger in April, will captain the new side on his return to action
Image: Ben Stokes, who fractured his finger in April, will captain the new side on his return to action

The ECB had named the same squad for the Pakistan series as the 16 that recently played Sri Lanka.

This included the likes of captain Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Joe Root and Mark Wood.

England comfortably won the ODI series 2-0, after the final match in Bristol was abandoned due to bad weather.

Stokes had missed the Sri Lanka series after he suffered a fractured index finger while fielding in the Indian Premier League in April.

He returned to action last month for Durham but Morgan said he would not be rushed back to international duty and was set to miss the series against Pakistan.

The rest of the new team to face Pakistan will be named later on Tuesday.