England’s preparations for the historic Test series against Pakistan, beginning in Rawalpindi on December 1, have reportedly been “significantly disrupted” with at least a dozen members of the touring party down with virus.
England are touring Pakistan for the first time in 17 years for a three-Test series and a report in Daily Mail said on Wednesday that less than 24 hours before the first ball is bowled, at least a dozen players in Ben Stokes’ party have been laid low by the bug.
The report added that it is unknown whether England will be forced to make changes to the team they had announced on Tuesday.
Stokes had confirmed his team for the match on Tuesday with Liam Livingstone set for debut, but the report of several members of the side being affected could result in changes at the last minute.
The report added that it’s quite possible all the players could recover in time before the cricket gets going. England have employed their own chef for the tour, though the bug is not thought to be connected to food, the report said.
An unnamed team spokesman has also reportedly told Daily Mail that the symptoms are not Covid-related.
Only five England players — Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook and Keaton Jennings — who are not part of the playing XI for the opening Test attended the optional nets session at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.