Ashley Giles admitted cricket was on a 'knife edge' after England's plans for their one-day series against Pakistan were thrown into disarray by seven positive Covid tests.
England had to replace their whole squad and coaching staff on Tuesday for three 50-over matches, starting in Cardiff on Thursday, when the virus swept through what managing director Giles insisted was a 'safe team environment.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
And it left England anxiously re-assessing their Covid protocols to try to ensure the show goes on for the rest of a summer when cricket will be financially dependent on the success of their five-Test series against India and the new Hundred competition.
England's plans for their one-day series against Pakistan were thrown into disarray on Tuesday
Ashley Giles (L) says the summer of cricket was on a 'knife-edge' - Ben Stokes (R) will captain the new white-ball squad
'It's been a mad 24 hours,' said Giles after naming a 'B' squad that included nine uncapped players. 'We had two positive lateral flow tests among the management on Monday morning so took all the right precautions and isolated everyone.
'But then we got the news we feared in the evening that it had spread within the group. Given the size of the outbreak the only thing we could do was isolate everyone and move on with a new squad. The last 12 hours have been a bit of a blur.'
Three unidentified players and four members of a management team that was meant to be led by assistant coach Paul Collingwood for the next three matches tested positive. But Giles insisted nobody broke Covid protocols.
'I don't believe we have gambled at all,' said the former England spinner. 'No-one is more aware of the risks than us. As well as looking after our people we're trying to protect revenues for the whole game. That's the knife edge we're living on and it can be a really difficult balance to strike.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'Our protocols have been very similar to last year when we lived in bio-secure conditions. This time we have tried to live in safe environments but we have been travelling around the country and haven't had sole use of hotels. We have been sharing certain areas but not key ones like where we eat.
THE OLD SQUAD
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Sam Billings (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), George Garton (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey),