Former England captains Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain

The touring England side found itself in a difficult situation on the eve of the first Test match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi as several of its players, including captain Ben Stokes, were struck down by an unknown virus. The Pakistan cricket board said on Wednesday that it was discussing next steps with the England and Wales Cricket Board. “The PCB and ECB are in discussions regarding the commencement of the 1st #PAKvENG Test as some England players are down with viral infection,” the board said on Twitter.

England paceman Stuart Broad decided to have some fun and tweeted the photos of former England captain Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain with the caption, “An option?” as a response to the tweet by the two cricket boards.

Not to be left behind in the social media banter game, Hussain immediately replied on Broad’s comment with, “Siri show me the opposite of Bazball !!!”. In what can seen as a great example of self-depricating humour, Hussain pretty much suggested that the approach of both the former greats was quite opposite to the attacking fashion in which England has started batting in Test cricket since Brendon McCullum took over as coach of the Test side and Ben Stokes assumed captaincy.

England are on their first Test tour of Pakistan in 17 years, following their Twenty20 side playing seven matches in the country two months ago, taking the series 4-3.

Problems with food and players becoming ill during the Twenty20 series led to the decision to bring a chef, Omar Meziane, who also worked with the England men’s football team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and at Euro 2020.

England and Pakistan will contest a three-Test series with the second in Multan beginning December 9 and the third in Karachi from December 17-21.

(With AFP inputs)

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