I’m Confident That Players Haven’t Breached Any Protocols, We Haven’t Gambled At All – England Director Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles, England‘s men’s director of cricket, says that he is pretty confident that none of the players in the white-ball squad had made any breaches of the bio-bubble after the entire contingent, which hosted Sri Lanka, was forced into quarantine following 7 positive results – 3 players and 4 staff members – of the covid-19 virus.

The ECB then named an entirely different 18-man squad, which consists of 9 uncapped players, and to be led by the returning Ben Stokes, for the ODI series against Pakistan, starting Thursday.

Ashley Giles has stated that they haven’t “gambled at all” at all with the lives of their squad or any others and assured that the players haven’t partaken in any misdemeanour regarding the bio-bubble breach.

England Cricket Team, T20I Cricket
The entire England squad which defeated Sri Lanka have been placed in isolation. (Image Credit: Twitter)
“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,” Ashley Giles was quoted as saying by BT Sport.
“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. We are trying to look after our people and keeping them sane while protecting the revenues of the whole game. It is a difficult balance to strike,” he added.

There is going to be risk: Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles further points out that with the relaxed covid protocols of the British government, there would be risks of people contracting the virus.
Although there have been protocols in place this summer, including regular testing, these have been less stringent than last summer as the ECB have moved to a new model of protection.
England vs Pakistan 1st ODI 2021, Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes will captain England against Pakistan in ODIs. Photo Credit: (Getty Images.)

The players are now not having inclusive access to the hotels and have to share it with people outside the bubble; crowds have been allowed back to the stadiums – the second ODI against Pakistan at Lord’s will see a full-capacity crowd return; families of the players have been allowed to meet them. There are several sources from where the virus could enter the bubble.

“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 risk. We are seeing an almost-impossible situation as society opens and the virus is still spreading,” the former English spinner further stated.

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