On the eve of the first Test between England and Pakistan, the Three Lions dealt a heavy blow as 14 squad members got infected by an unknown virus.
The players have shown no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus and have reportedly caught a local bug or diarrhoea. The travelling team was advised to rest at their hotel on Wednesday. As a result, the management had to convert the training session into an optional practice session.
Ben Stokes, the England captain, is among the seven cricketers who caught the bug before the match. Only Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope and Joe Root reported to the optional session conducted by coach Brendon McCullum.
Notably, England brought a personal chef to avoid catching any bug or sickness before the series since the team experienced a similar issue during the team’s visit to Pakistan for the T20I series in October and against South Africa in 2019.
The Three Lions released their playing XI earlier today, with Liam Livingstone set to make his Test debut and Ben Duckett back in the playing XI after six years.
However, owing to the sickness, England will likely announce an updated playing XI.
Ben Stokes-led side will play their first Test in Pakistan after 17 years, and the first of the three matches will begin at 10:30 am IST tomorrow at the Rawalpindi stadium.