BURY-born cricketer John Simpson has received a shock call up to England's ODI squad to face Pakistan, following the ECB's statement released earlier this morning announcing news of a Covid outbreak in the England camp.

With the whole England squad forced into isolation, England have named a replacement squad for the series opener, which starts in Thursday in Cardiff against Pakistan.

Simpson, 32, will leave Cheltenham where he is playing for Middlesex against Gloucestershire and travel to join up with the rest of the replacement squad ahead of Thursday's game.

Simpson, a wicketkeeper batsman, played first-team Lancashire League cricket for Haslingden when only ten years old and went on to represent Lancashire in every age group from Under-11 upwards. Yet, despite appearing for Lancashire seconds and earning his first England Under-19s call-up for the 2005 tour of Bangladesh, it took a move to Middlesex to realise his ambition of becoming a professional cricketer.

The ECB have confirmed both the Royal London ODIs and the Vitality IT20s against Pakistan will go ahead with Ben Stokes returning to England duties and captaining the squad.

Incoming squad and support team members will follow PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure safe entry to camp.

Tom Harrison, chief executive officer, said: "We have been mindful that the emergence of the Delta variant, along with our move away from the stringent enforcement of bio secure environments, could increase the chances of an outbreak. We made a strategic choice to try to adapt protocols, in order to support the overall wellbeing of our players and management staff who have spent much of the last 14 months living in very restricted conditions.

"Overnight we have worked swiftly to identify a new squad, and we are grateful to Ben Stokes who will return to England duties to captain. We also recognise the impact this news will have on our First Class Counties and their Men’s playing squads and thank them, along with our partners Sky and Royal London, for their ongoing support in dealing with this pandemic."

The full squad:

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