England’s cricketers, including skipper Ben Stokes, have been struck down with a suspected stomach bug ahead of the first Test against Pakistan. A ceremony to unveil the series trophy was postponed Wednesday to give Stokes time to recover.
“Several players and staff, including England captain Ben Stokes, are feeling unwell and have been advised to rest up at the hotel,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board.
According to British media reports, the players were suffering from viral food poisoning.
Only five of the 16-member playing squad have taken part in an optional training session, and around 14 members of the travelling party, including coaches and backup staff, have been advised to stay at the team hotel.
The players at training on Wednesday included Joe Root, Zak Crawley, Harry Brook, Ollie Pope and Keaton Jennings, as well as head coach Brendon McCullum. On Tuesday, all members of the squad trained.
As a result of the virus outbreak, England might have to change the team announced on Tuesday for the Test match.
Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone will make his Test debut on Thursday, while opener Ben Duckett has been recalled after a six-year absence.
The England Twenty20 team played seven matches in Pakistan two months ago, taking the series 4-3. This is England’s first test tour of Pakistan in 17 years.
Food problems and players becoming ill of Stomach Bug during the Twenty20 series led to the decision to bring a chef, Omar Meziane, who also worked with England’s men’s football team at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.
The second Test will be played in Multan beginning December 9 and the third in Karachi from December 17-21.
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