Ben Stokes will return to captain England's one-day international side - after the entire squad was stood down because of Covid-19.

The England and Wales Cricket board today said that seven members of the current ODI party - three players and four staff members - had tested positive for the virus.

With all others in the England party deemed close contacts, it means the whole squad must now isolate.

The ODI and T20 series against Pakistan, though, will still go ahead, with England having now named an entirely new squad.

It was this morning confirmed that Cumbrian star Stokes would return to the international fold and lead the new side.

The all-rounder recently returned to action for his county Durham after a spell out with a broken finger.

The 30-year-old Cockermouth star has been thanked for stepping up, with the first ODI being played in Cardiff on Thursday.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement: ‘‘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.’’

News of the seven positive tests were confirmed after PCR tests administered in Bristol yesterday.

After discussions with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and Bristol Local Health Authority, it was confirmed that those impacted will continue self-isolating from a period deemed to start on Sunday, July 4.

The ECB say the incoming squad and support team members "will follow PCR tests and bridging protocols to ensure safe entry to camp". 

There are nine uncapped players in the new squad, while Chris Silverwood returns as head coach for the series, having been due to take some time away.

The new squad is:

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)

Managing director of England men's cricket, Ashley Giles, said: "It's a great opportunity to play on the biggest stage, and for most of the players selected it's not necessarily something they would have been expecting 24 hours ago.

"It's an exciting group of players, with some young talent and some players who have impressed at domestic level over a long period of time.

"We're in unprecedented territory, in terms of replacing an entire squad and management team, and I'm very proud of how everyone has come together in order to get it done - both those within the ECB and from the county game.

"Ben hasn't captained our ODI side before so it's a huge honour for him. We all wish him well and it's a role I'm sure he'll thrive in.

"I'd like to also put on record the thanks of the ECB to the PCB for their support and understanding during this time."

Stokes' return comes just days after regular ODI captain Eoin Morgan said the all-rounder would not be rushed back for England.

"The last thing we want to do is rush somebody back and jump with the level of intensity from county cricket to international when there isn't necessarily a need," Morgan said.

"We are happy for Ben to progress as he sees fit, and obviously we have one eye on the Test series as well."