The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday agreed to delay the decision on the commencement of the first Test, which is due to start on Thursday, until 07:30 am Pakistan time tomorrow (Thursday).
The decision was made during a meeting of the officials of both cricket boards amid reports of the outbreak of viral infection in the England men’s Test team camp, a PCB statement said.
“Both cricket boards made the decision based on medical advice from the England doctors, which revolved around the players’ health and welfare, agreeing that the England cricket team are able to select an XI for the first of the three ICC World Test Championship matches, which will be played at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium”.
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The two boards also agreed, subject to the England players not recovering well enough to take the field on Thursday morning, then the Test will commence on Friday and will be a five-day match.
The cricket board said that the schedule of the second Test in Multan and the third Test in Karachi will remain unaffected and will be played as per the original schedule i.e. 9-13 and 17-21 December, respectively.
Earlier, PCB said in a tweet that they were in discussions with the "regarding the commencement of first Pakistan vs England Test as some England players are down with a viral infection.”
The development came amid reports that England’s cricketers, including skipper Ben Stokes, were struck down with a suspected stomach bug on the eve of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, despite the touring party bringing their own chef.
A ceremony Wednesday for the two captains to unveil the series trophy was postponed to give Stokes time to recover.
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