A virus has reportedly afflicted 14 team members, including eight players, ahead of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, dealing a severe blow to the English cricket team.

Tomorrow (December 1), England will play the first Test in Pakistan for the first time in 17 years.

Ben Stokes, the captain of England, as well as other squad members and officials, were reportedly impacted by the virus, according to a BBC report.

‘On the eve of the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, the England squad, including captain Ben Stokes, has been struck by a virus,’ the report added.

The traveling team of players and coaches received a recommendation to relax at the hotel on Wednesday for about 14 people.

Only five people participated in an optional training session, out of a total playing squad of 16.

The only players who showed up for today’s optional training session were Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root, according to a brief statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

Liam Livingstone, an all-rounder for Lancashire, will play in his maiden Test match, while Ben Duckett, a batsman for Nottinghamshire, will make his first appearance in the team since 2016 and will open the batting alongside Zak Crawley.

Following the first match in Rawalpindi, the second Test will be played in Multan beginning on Friday, December 9, and the last Test of the trip will begin on Saturday, December 17 at the National Stadium in Karachi.

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