Several England fall ill, raising possibility delaying Rawalpindi Test

As several England touring squad fell ill after reaching Pakistan, there is a possibility that the first Test starting in Rawalpindi on Thursday may be delayed.

On the other hand, a ceremony on Wednesday for the two captains to unveil the series trophy was postponed to give Ben Stokes, who also not feeling well, time to recover.

“Several players and staff members, including England captain Ben Stokes, are feeling unwell and have been advised to stay at the hotel to rest up,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement.

In this connection, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon, said they were in touch with the ECB on the issue and monitoring the situation.

The BBC says around 14 members of the party – about half of the players and coaches – were advised to rest at the hotel on Wednesday, rather than attend training in Rawalpindi.

It is England’s first Test in Pakistan for 17 years. That’s why Joe Root told BBC, “It’s not the worst thing if we have to wait to make sure the game isn’t cancelled.”

“It’s such a monumental tour and important series for so many reasons. We’ve waited 17 years to come to Pakistan to play a Test match. It means waiting another day, is that the worst thing in the world?”

“We’re all desperate to play this game and we know how important it is to the fans of Pakistan and their team as well.”

Separately, Root, at a press conference in Rawalpindi, dismissed the possibility of food poisoning. “I don’t think it is food poisoning or Covid or anything like that,” said Root in response to a query.

“As far as I’m aware, a few guys are not feeling 100 per cent,” Root said and added that there was no connection between food and illness.

He said, “The thing is we have been carrying a chef away for a couple of years. If you look at the international teams, especially England, they all have their own chefs. We optimise ourselves and we see it from a nutrition point of view as well.”

When asked about the current state of health of other players, Root said it was hard to say as he had not seen anyone this morning.

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