Rawalpindi Test between Pakistan and England will start as per schedule.

The first Test between Pakistan and England in Rawalpindi will start as scheduled from today after the visitors were medically examined on the morning of the match. However, changes are expected in the playing XI, which was announced by England 48 hours before the match.

The possibility of delaying the Test arose in the run-up to the match when illness broke out in the England camp, raising doubts about whether they would have enough fit players to field.
After an emergency meeting between PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja and ECB officials Rob Kay and Neil Snowball, ECB Medical Director Nick Paris and Team Dr Anita Biswas on Wednesday evening, the wait till 7.30 am on Thursday morning. The decision was made to do so, before determining whether the test would go ahead as planned or be delayed by 24 hours. The virus initially wiped out 14 members of the touring group, including half of the 16-man playing squad, with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.

After a review by Dr Pearce and Dr Biswas of the touring group, many of whom were confined to their hotel rooms on Wednesday, the results confirmed that England would be able to field an XI.

A joint statement by the ECB and the PCB said: “The ECB has informed the PCB that it is in a position to field an XI, and as such, the first Test is scheduled for today. (Thursday, December 1) will begin. Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.”

The make-up of the team is however subject to change. Skipper Ben Stokes, who named his team on Tuesday, James Anderson and Jack Leach were the worst hit, with others struggling to overcome the problem as they played. Training on Wednesday was optional with only Harry Brook, Zac Crowley, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope and Joe Root taking part. Jennings was all named in the starting team alongside Liam Livingstone, with openers Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, and Ollie Robinson recalled after six years.

England will leave the Serena Hotel at 8am as originally planned and name their XI for the toss, which is scheduled for 9.30am local time.


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