Given that half of England’s playing team becomes ill in Pakistan, the cause is most likely a virus or insect rather than food poisoning.
Following the illness of 13 to 14 members of the England squad on Wednesday, including half the 16-man playing pool, authorities from England and Pakistan are in discussions regarding a potential 24-hour postponement to the first Test in Pakistan.
Instead of food poisoning, the problem is believed to be a virus or bug, and England is being extra cautious about what they eat with the assistance of a chef named Omar Meziane who has accompanied the squad on this tour. However, some players complained of feeling ill on Tuesday, and they were instructed to remain in their rooms to reduce the danger of virus transmission.
Two of those reportedly impacted are James Anderson and England captain Ben Stokes. Despite having symptoms, Jack Leach, who has Crohn’s disease and takes immunosuppressive medicine to lower his immune response, is reported to be in good health. Although Joe Root experienced symptoms on Tuesday, he was able to train on Wednesday. Mark Wood, who was expected to miss the first test due to injury, has made progress since missing training on Tuesday and being confined to his room, and is showing signs of recovery.
Players who were sick with vomiting and diarrhea, according to an ECB official, did not have the COVID-19 virus. There is a chance the infection will clear up in 24 hours, but with the first of the three matches in the series scheduled to start in Rawalpindi on Thursday, England’s hopes of getting off to a good start have been significantly hindered. When dealing with the media on Wednesday, Root confirmed that conversations about a delayed match start were in progress.
A representative for the ECB acknowledged that play would not have begun in the current situation, even though the World Test Championship’s playing rules call for all matches to be spread out over a five-day period. A final decision on the start time is expected to depend on the recommendation of the England team doctor. Representatives from the two boards, including PCB chairman Ramiz Raja and the ECB’s Rob Key and Neil Snowball, have been in discussions.
Even while it is bad, Root said, “we don’t believe it is food-related.” “I don’t believe there is a connection between the two, and the chef is also ill; therefore, I don’t believe the cause is the food.”
“The issue is that we have been attempting to travel with a chef for a few years now. This is the first chance we’ve ever had to accomplish it. Even Premier League and Championship teams have their own chefs, so we believe that from a nutrition and performance standpoint, we are striving to do everything we can to optimize ourselves and be in the best possible position to succeed.
Only Root and Keaton Jennings participated in the Wednesday training session at the venue, which was optional prior to the bug’s spread. The other players named in the starting XI are Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Harry Brook. With Liam Livingstone making his debut and Ben Duckett making a comeback, Stokes’ team from Tuesday may now look quite different.
Marcus Trescothick, Rob Key, and Brendon McCullum will have to replace them as the top three players for tomorrow, joked Andy Root. As far as I’m aware, there are a few guys who aren’t feeling well, but since I wasn’t feeling well yesterday but felt better today, I’m hoping it’s simply a 24-hour virus and not food poisoning, COVID, or anything else. I believe it is simply one of those things that we have collectively, regrettably, acquired over time. “We have done everything we can to prepare for this game, and even though life sometimes gets in the way, we will do everything in our power to be prepared and in good standing the following day.”
When asked if he thought everyone would be ready to be chosen on Thursday morning, Root replied, “It’s hard to say; I haven’t seen anyone this morning, and we literally just got on the bus.” “So the lads will do everything in our power to be perfect in that regard, so time will tell.”
The outbreak occurred in Islamabad’s Serena Hotel, where guests from Pakistan and England as well as UK media personnel were staying. The second-story wing of the building has been taken over by England, and their team room is an executive lounge on the sixth level. Apart from being able to exit the closely secured 14-acre compound, they haven’t had any restrictions on how they can travel around the hotel.
This is not the first trip that England has lately started that has been interrupted by illness. On the 2019–20 South African tour, the team suffered with yet another illness leading up to and during their Boxing Day Test in Pretoria, forcing a number of players to leave the playing area to use the restroom and replenish their fluids in separate changing rooms away from the group. They ultimately failed the test.Many England players wondered if they had been infected by an early strain of COVID-19 due to the rapid spread of this particular virus. But the symptoms were quite different, just as they are now.
“I wouldn’t want it for anyone.” “That’s awful,” says Root. “Run continuously onto and off of the field. However, there are situations when it is simply a reflection of where your team is right now. Due to many of us becoming ill during the Test match rather than prior to the game, Centurion 2019 was quite terrible. But ideally we won’t have to worry about it because tomorrow should see a good turnout from everyone, allowing us to take in this thrilling series and use cricket as a conversation starter.”
With the Lions team having returned from Abu Dhabi at the conclusion of last week’s warm-up with the Test squad, Root said that he was unaware of any potential reinforcements and that he did not anticipate serving as captain in the event that Stokes is ruled unfit.
He replied, “I don’t believe so, no.” We shall see; Ollie Pope handled it recently and did a fantastic job. Hopefully we won’t need to have that conversation. “It makes me angry.” A few of the guys wouldn’t have come in because today is often an optional session. There isn’t much you can do besides make an effort to act correctly, take care of your health, and prepare for tomorrow’s game away from the game.
“We are at that point as a group right now.” When we’re crowded together in the same hotel, it can spread when this occurs occasionally. We’ve tried to minimize it as much as we can, and tomorrow will show how successful we were. Being on tour entails it in some capacity. You have 15 individuals here so that in the event of an injury or illness, you are prepared. “These things can be thrown at you occasionally.”