On Tuesday the ECB announced that seven members – three England players and four support staff – of the contingent that hosted Sri Lanka for the ODI series have tested positive for the covid-19 virus and all have been placed in isolation before naming a new 18-man squad for the Pakistan ODIs.
Ramiz Raja pointed out that the England team had last year left their tour of South Africa mid-way after COVID-19 breached the bubble. They returned without completing the ODI leg then from South Africa.
Now, despite the news of covid positive cases in England camp, the Pakistan team has decided to continue with the tour. To which Ramiz Raja reckons the western countries should hail the spirit and commitment of the sub-continent teams.
“England team suffer at the hands of COVID yet Pakistan team stays. South Africa had one player with symptoms of covid in Dec and England chose to leave quoting mental challenges. West needs to acknowledge the spirit of sub continent and commitment to the game… nahin??” Ramiz Raja wrote on Twitter.
Ben Stokes, who was rested from the Sri Lanka series to recover from his finger surgery, will lead England in the 3-match ODI series starting on July 8 in Cardiff.
PCB is satisfied by the assurances by the ECB
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meanwhile has said that they are happy with the “assurances and guarantees” given to them by the ECB. They said they are satisfied with the covid safety protocols put in place by the home board.
“The PCB is satisfied by the assurances and guarantees provided by the ECB on behalf of its medical panel, and 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 throughout the duration of the series, which commences on Thursday, July 8, in Cardiff,” the PCB said in its official statement.
“The PCB has also been in touch with its team management and has advised them to exercise extra caution while in the hotel or at the match venue,” it added.