Former England Test captain Joe Root dismissed out the possibility of any of his colleagues becoming ill from food poisoning on Wednesday, saying, I think it is just one of those things that we, unhappily, picked up as a group.
Root responded to a question during a news conference in Rawalpindi today, saying, I don’t think it’s food poisoning or Covid or anything like that.
England’s players, including captain Ben Stokes, have fallen ill on the eve of the first Test, despite the traveling party having their own chef. Root stated at the news conference, To the best of my knowledge, a couple guys aren’t feeling 100%.
Root emphasized that there was no connection between eating and illness.
The issue is that we’ve been traveling a chef for several years. As you can see, all of the foreign teams, particularly England, have their own chefs. In response to a question, he stated, We optimize ourselves and see it from a nutrition standpoint as well.
When asked about the other players’ current condition, Root said, I haven’t seen anyone this morning, so it’s hard to say. The men are working quite hard. They spent a lot of work and attention into the games, so only time will tell.
The occasion on Wednesday where the two captains would have unveiled the series trophy was postponed to give Stokes more time to heal.
According to the England and Wales Cricket Board, a number of players and staff, including England captain Ben Stokes, are feeling under the weather and have been advised to stay at the hotel to rest up.
According to the BBC, around half of the 16-man playing group has been impacted. Only five of the players attended an optional training session, while the rest 14 members of the traveling party, including coaches and backup staff, were urged to stay at the team hotel.
Players Joe Root, Zak Crawley, Harry Brook, Ollie Pope, and Keaton Jennings, as well as head coach Brendon McCullum, practiced on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the entire team had practiced.
Due to the illness, England may need to change the lineup for the Test that was announced on Tuesday.
Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone is set to make his Test debut on Thursday, while opener Ben Duckett has been called up for the first time in six years.
England is on its first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years, having played seven matches there two months ago and winning the series 4-3.
The decision to recruit a chef, Omar Meziane, who previously worked with the England men’s football team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Euro 2020, was made in reaction to food difficulties and players becoming ill during the T20 series.
England and Pakistan will play a three-match Test series beginning tomorrow (Dec. 1), with the second game in Multan from Dec. 9-13 and the third game in Karachi from Dec. 17-21.
The following are the teams for the Test series:
players are Ben Stokes (batting), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeping), Joe Root, James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, and Rehan Ahmed.
players include Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr., Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, and Zahid Mehmood.