No England positives from ECB virus tests ahead of Windies series


“Old Trafford will be the venue for the second and third Tests of the England-West Indies series due to its on-site hotel. ©AFP” />

London (AFP) – No England cricketer tested positive for the coronavirus prior to a training group assembling at the Ageas Bowl ahead of next month’s Test series against the West Indies, it was announced Wednesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said all results came back negative from 702 tests carried out on players, support staff, match officials, ECB staff, venue staff and hotel staff from June 3-23.

However, that figure does not include the second test of England fast bowler Jofra Archer, whose result will be known on Thursday.

The three-match series, which will take place behind closed doors and mark the return of international cricket from lockdown, begins at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl on July 8, with the other two matches taking place at Old Trafford.

“The England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that 702 COVID-19 tests were carried out between June 3 and June 23 with several stakeholder groups working at the bio-secure venues of the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford,” said a statement.

“These groups include players, support staff, match officials, ECB staff, venue staff and hotel staff.We can confirm that all 702 tests were negative.”

Although Archer has not tested positive, the ECB said Tuesday he would have to have another check-up after a member of his household — who are all also free of COVID-19  felt unwell over the weekend.

The West Indies, none of whose touring side have yet contracted the virus, continued their preparations with the second day of a three-day intra-squad match at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Pakistan are meant to arrive in England this weekend ahead of Test and limited overs matches later in the season despite 10 positive tests encompassing players and a support staff member.

While in England, Pakistan are due to play three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals, with the first Test in Manchester starting on August 5.

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