Decision on Pakistan-England first test deferred to hour before toss

ECB and PCB say if players don't recover, test will start from Friday
<p>England’s Harry Brook bats at the nets during a training session ahead of their first cricket Test match against Pakistan, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. PHOTO: ONLINE</p>

England’s Harry Brook bats at the nets during a training session ahead of their first cricket Test match against Pakistan, at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. PHOTO: ONLINE

After several players fell ill due to a viral outbreak within the English camp, cricketing boards of both countries to take a call on starting the match on schedule early on Thursday morning based on how players feel.

A joint statement issued on Wednesday evening after officials of both boards put their heads together over the emerging situation and deliberating whether to delay the test or not.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and England Cricket Board (ECB) said that they had unanimously agreed to delay the decision on starting the first Test until 7:30am on Thursday. The match is due to start at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday morning,

“The two boards made the decision based on medical advice from the England doctors, which revolved around the players’ health and welfare,” the statement read, adding that it was agreed that the English team was in a position to select a playing XI for the first of the three ICC World Test Championship matches.

Should the English players fail to recover enough to take to the field on Thursday morning, the two boards agreed that the test match will then commence on Friday morning.

It was further agreed that in the event the match starts on Friday, it will not be commuted to four days, rather it will be a five-day match as it will utilize the rest day.

In this way, the schedule of the second Test in Multan and the third Test in Karachi will remain unaffected and will be played as per original schedule, December 9-13 and December 17-21 respectively.

Further information for the ticket-buyers will be shared on Thursday morning.

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