Pakistan discussing first Test postponement as illness sweeps England camp

By Sports Desk November 30, 2022

Pakistan are in discussions with England over postponing the opening Test between the pair following illness in the tourists' camp.

The two are set to meet in their first red-ball match in Pakistan since 2005 this week, beginning a three-match series in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

But an infection has swept through England's party, disrupting their preparations, with only a handful of the squad training on Wednesday.

Now, the Pakistan Cricket Board is in dialogue with the England and Wales Cricket Board over delaying the fixture.

"The PCB and ECB are in discussions regarding the commencement of the first Test as some England players are down with [a] viral infection," said the PCB.

"The PCB continues to monitor the situation, is in contact with the ECB and will provide further updates in due course."

England batsman Joe Root, one of a handful of players who trained on Wednesday, suggested a postponement was the right decision to make, stating the tourists did not wish to shortchange the occasion.

"It's such a monumental tour and important series for so many reasons," he told BBC Sport. "We've waited 17 years to come to Pakistan to play a Test match.

"If 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."

Root was succeeded by Ben Stokes as captain earlier this year and ruled out leading the side if the latter was indisposed, suggesting Ollie Pope should instead deputise.

"I don't think that's going to be the case," he added when asked if he would skipper England. "Last week Popey did a great job in the warm-up game. I think that might be a better way for the group moving forward."

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