PAK vs ENG: In what comes as a massive blow for England on the eve of the first Test between England and Pakistan, more than dozen members of the touring party are down with unknown virus, BBC Sports reported on Wednesday (November 30).
Only five players – Joe Root, Zak Crawley, Harry Brook, Ollie Pope and Keaton Jennings have attended the optional training on the eve of the series opener on December 1 in Rawalpindi.
“The England squad, including captain Ben Stokes, has been affected by a virus on the eve of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi. Around 14 members of the travelling party of players and coaches were advised to rest at the hotel on Wednesday,” the report read.
Team spokesman Danny Reuben didn’t reveal the exact cause and nature of the illnesses or give the exact number of affected England players. However, he stated that all the infected players have been advised to stay at the hotel and take a proper rest.
Earlier, England had named its playing XI for the opening Test of the three-match series with all-rounder Liam Livingstone set to make his Test debut while Ben Duckett was named as opener with Zak Crawley.
England are scheduled to play a three-match Test series against Pakistan from Thursday at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. It will be a historic series between the two nations as England will be playing their first test in Pakistan in 17 years.