England’s preparations for historic Pakistan Test match disrupted by virus

England’s preparations for their first Test in Pakistan in 17 years are significantly disrupted… with at least a DOZEN of the touring party laid low by a virus just 24 hours before the match gets underway

  • England are due to start their first Test match against Pakistan on Thursday
  • It is the first time England will have played a Test in Pakistan since 2005
  • At least a dozen of the touring party have been laid low by a virus 
  • England named their team on Tuesday, and it is unknown whether selection will now be affected by the virus 

England’s preparations for Thursday’s historic first Test against Pakistan have been disrupted after a dozen or more members of the touring party – including captain Ben Stokes – were laid low by a virus.

Stokes had confirmed his team for the game on Tuesday, with the headline a debut for Liam Livingstone. 

But with 24 hours to go before the start of England’s first Test series in this country for 17 years, it was too early to say whether selection would be affected.

Liam Livingstone is due to make his Test debut for England against Pakistan on Thursday

However, a number of Ben Stokes' team have been laid low by a virus ahead of the game

However, a number of Ben Stokes’ team have been laid low by a virus ahead of the game

The hope is that the illness, which has affected roughly half the 16-strong playing squad, will pass through before the cricket gets going.

England have employed their own chef for this trip, though the bug is not thought to be connected to food. 

A team spokesman also confirmed the symptoms were not Covid-related.

Nets at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium – less than eight miles from the team’s base in the Pakistani capital Islamabad – are optional on Wednesday, and attended by only five batters: Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook and Keaton Jennings, the only one of the group not chosen for the first Test.

Only five batters, including Ollie Pope, took part in Wednesday's net session in Rawalpindi

Only five batters, including Ollie Pope, took part in Wednesday’s net session in Rawalpindi


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