Mohammad Hafeez celebrates reaching his half-century in Pakistan’s World Cup match against England at Trent Bridge. Photo: AFP
LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed satisfaction Tuesday over the safety protocols put in place by the England Cricket Board (ECB), as seven members of the England squad tested positive for coronavirus.
The England cricket team was rocked by news of three are players and four members of the support staff tested positive for the infection.
England will now have to select a new team, with all-rounder Ben Stokes named captain.
“Pakistan Cricket Board has been in close contact with the England and Wales Cricket Board regarding concerns about the health and safety of its players since the news of Covid-19 outbreak in the England camp,” said the board in a statement.
“The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel,” said the PCB.
The cricket board said it “feels comfortable with the existing protocols that have been put in place to ensure all the Pakistan players and player support staff remain safe and secure”.
The PCB said it has been in touch with the team management, advising them to exercise “extra caution” at the hotel and the match venues.
England play Pakistan in the first ODI in Cardiff on Thursday, July 8.
England skipper Eoin Morgan had earlier said it would be too soon to consider Stokes as a member of the playing XI. The all-rounder was out of the squad for the past several weeks due to an injured finger.
The rest of the new team to face Pakistan will be named later on Tuesday.
‘We have been prepared for this moment, and 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,” said ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison.
“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 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.