ECB, PCB Mull Start Of 1st Test In Rawalpindi After England Players Fall Ill

On the eve of the first Test between the two sides, England skipper Ben Stokes and other players of the squad are feeling unwell due to a viral infection.

ECB, PCB Mull Start Of 1st Test In Rawalpindi After England Players Fall Ill
England players during training in Rawalpindi. (Photo: @englandcricket Twitter)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and England Cricket Board (ECB) are in discussions regarding the start of the first Test in Rawalpindi after several visiting players fall ill due to a viral infection.

On the eve of the first Test between the two sides, England skipper Ben Stokes and other players of the squad are feeling unwell due to a viral infection.

"The PCB and ECB are in discussions regarding the commencement of the 1st #PAKvENG Test as some England players are down with viral infection. The PCB continues to monitor the situation, is in contact with the ECB and will provide further updates in due course," PCB said in a statement.

"We are in discussions with the PCB regarding the start of the first Test due to a viral infection within our camp," ECB added.

Pakistan are hosting England after 17 years for a Test match after the English side last toured the country in September for the T20I series this year.

Only five England players -- Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope and Joe Root -- turned up for training at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. The rest of the squad members stayed back in the team hotel.

England have already named its playing XI for the opening game 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.

Team spokesman Danny Reuben didn't elaborate on the nature of the illnesses or give the exact number of affected England players. But he said in a statement that the unwell players "have been advised to stay at the hotel to rest up."

In the absence of Stokes, the Pakistan Cricket Board had to postpone the trophy unveiling of the series by a day and the ceremony will now be held on Thursday ahead of the toss for the first Test.

England last toured Pakistan in 2005 and is scheduled to play three Test matches at Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi.

England XI v Pakistan: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (w), Liam Livingstone, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, Jimmy Anderson.

(With AP inputs)

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