ISLAMABAD: Most of the players in squad of cricket team of England have contracted viral infection on Wednesday, a day ahead of the beginning of the first Test match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi from Dec 1 (Thursday).
The England’s squad members affected by the virus include eight players who may not be fit to play the first Test match, starting from Thursday in Rawalpindi.
“The England squad, including captain Ben Stokes, has been affected by a virus on the eve of the first Test against Pakistan,” BBC reported today.
About 14 members of the England’s players and coaches have been advised to take rest at the hotel on Wednesday instead of going to the stadium for practice.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), nonetheless, did not mention the number of players affected by viral illness.
According to ECP, only Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope and Joe Root participated in Wednesday’s optional training session.
England have already named their team for the first Test, with Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone making his Test debut while Nottinghamshire batter Ben Duckett returns to the side for the first time since 2016 and will open the batting with Zak Crawley.
After the first match in Rawalpindi, the second Test moves to Multan starting on Friday, December 9, and the final Test of the tour will take place at the National Stadium in Karachi, commencing on Saturday, December 17.
England XI for first Test
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Liam Livingstone, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, Jimmy Anderson.