England cricket team suffer Covid outbreak with SEVEN members of squad – including three players – testing positive

ENGLAND'S cricket team has been plunged into chaos with seven positive Covid tests – including three players.

Four members of the backroom staff have also contracted the virus.

It means the entire camp – those with coronavirus and the rest deemed as close contacts – must go into self-isolation, as they follow the government and Public Health England protocols.

And now the ECB must select an entirely new team for the matches against Pakistan.

The three-game ODIs series begins on Thursday in Cardiff before the second fixture at Lord's on Saturday and the finale at Edgbaston next Tuesday.

That is then followed by three T20s on July 16, July 18 and July 20.

Despite the Covid outbreak, the six contests will still go ahead.

Ben Stokes is set to return to the England set-up and captain the side.

Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, said: "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.

"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.

"We also recognise the impact this news will have on our First Class Counties and their Men’s playing squads and thank them, along with our partners Sky and Royal London, for their ongoing support in dealing with this pandemic."

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