New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Seven members of England Men's ODI squad, including three players and four staff members, tested positive for COVID-19, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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," ECB said in a press statement.

The infected members of English Cricket team have been kept under quarantine since July 4. The remaining team members who were “deemed close contacts” of the infected team members will also undergo a period of 14-day quarantine.

England are scheduled to play a One Day International series and T20Is against Pakistan, with the first ODI slated to take place in Cardiff on July 8. ECB added in its statement that the series will go ahead with Pakistan with Ben Stokes its captain. The new team will be announced soon for the series.

“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,” Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, England and Wales Cricket Board, said.

ECB CEO added that the Cricket Board has made a “strategic choice” to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of the players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions.

As a note of caution, the ECB statement also added that the incoming squad and support team members will follow PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure safe entry to camp.

COVID-19 has affected sports events across the world in unprecedented proportions. The pandemic led to the postponement of Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021, first time the Olympics were postponed since second world war. In May this year, Indian Premier League (IPL) was also kept on hold midway after COVID-19 cases emerged from the biosecure bubble under which the annual cricket league was ongoing.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan