England cricket team director Ashley Giles has come to the defence of the England cricket team. A total of seven members of the England contingent bound to host Pakistan tested positive of COVID-19 on Tuesday. And due to that, ECB had to name a second-tier squad that will play against Pakistan from Thursday.
Giles defended the players stating that none of the players broke the COVID-19 protocol under the bio-bubble prescribed by the ECB. In the eleventh hour, the second tier team will now be led by all-rounder Ben Stokes for the entire white-ball series against Pakistan.
“I’m very confident the players haven’t breached any of those protocols. We can’t say where it (the virus) originated, but we can identify how some of this has developed through close contact. We haven’t gambled. I don’t believe we’ve gambled at all. We are fully aware of the risks and we are aware of the knife-edge that we are working on all the time,”Ashley Giles quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo
“We are trying to look after our people and keeping them safe while protecting the revenues of the whole game. It is a difficult balance to strike. Let’s stop talking about relaxed protocols. If we haven’t got sole use of hotels, if we have grounds with crowds and you have staff coming in and out of the environment then, however much testing you do, there is going to be a risk. We are seeing an almost impossible situation as society opens and the virus is still spreading”Ashley Giles
ECB named an 18-man squad, nine out of them are uncapped and they are as follows: Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Lewis Gregory, Will Jacks, Tom Helm, Dan Lawrence, David Payne, Phil Salt and John Simpson.
Ben Stokes (Durham, captain), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Danny Briggs (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), David Payne (Gloucestershire), Phil Salt (Sussex), John Simpson (Middlesex), James Vince (Hampshire).