RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — Several England players have been struck by a virus ahead of the team’s first test in Pakistan in 17 years, leading to discussions about postponing the start of the match by one day.

Only five England players — Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope and Joe Root — turned up for the training at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. The rest of the squad members, including captain Ben Stokes, stayed in the hotel as team officials said six or seven players had been affected by the virus.

Brook, Crawley, Pope and Root all were named in England’s playing XI for the first test.

“There’s obviously a few guys not feeling 100%,” Root told reporters, adding that he didn’t feel good yesterday but woke up lot better on Wednesday before coming for the training at the stadium. “It’s nothing like food poisoning or COVID … I think it’s just one of those things that we’ve unfortunately picked up as a group. We try to do absolutely everything right to make sure we’re prepared really well for this game.

“Sometimes you just pick up a virus and when you’re all tied together in one, I tell you, you can spread it out. We did everything we can to try and mitigate that, but you have to see how things go tonight and tomorrow.”

England team spokesman Danny Rueben said several staff members of the England contingent have also been affected by the virus.

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