After COVID cases in the camp, England announces fresh 18-man squad for Pakistan ODI series

After COVID cases in the camp, England announces fresh 18-man squad for Pakistan ODI series

Nine uncapped players are a part of the squad.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a fresh 18-man squad for the upcoming ODI series against Pakistan. The move comes after the whole ODI squad that played against Sri Lanka was isolated following three players and four management members tested positive for COVID-19. Ben Stokes is set to lead the team with as many as nine players getting a maiden call-up to the national squad.

Head coach Chris Silverwood, who was due to spend some time away, is back on duty with the first ODI to be played on July 8. ECB had to adjust a lot of things and had to even go to an extent where they had to pull players out from the ongoing County Championship round to bring players in a fresh bio-bubble and get them tested.

The fresh squad has allowed the likes of James Vince, Ben Duckett and Dawid Malan among others to make a comeback to the set up as well. Malan had featured in the ODI series against India in Pune earlier this year while Vince played in the 2019 World Cup at home. However, Duckett last played an ODI way back in 2016 and this presents a great chance for players like him to stake claim once again at the international level.

“It’s a great opportunity to play on the biggest stage, and for most of the players selected it’s not necessarily something they would have been expecting 24 hours ago. It’s an exciting group of players, with some young talent and some players who have impressed at domestic level over a long period of time,” Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, Ashley Giles said in a press release.

Ben Stokes to lead England for the first time in ODIs

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes will be leading England in the 50-over format for the first time in his career. He was not in the original squad announced for Pakistan ODIs and rather it was speculated that he might not play many games in the home summer. He was playing for Durham in the T20 Blast after recovering from injury but the unprecedented times have forced him to return to the field.

Giles was confident that the all-rounder will be up for the job and also lauded the way all the County teams came forward and made their players available in tough times. “We’re in unprecedented territory, in terms of replacing an entire squad and management team, and I’m very proud of how everyone has come together in order to get it done – both those within the ECB and from the county game.

“Ben hasn’t captained our ODI side before so it’s a huge honour for him. We all wish him well and it’s a role I’m sure he’ll thrive in. I’d like to also put on record the thanks of the ECB to the PCB for their support and understanding during this time,” Giles added.

England squad for Pakistan ODIs: Ben Stokes (C), 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.