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Cricket World Cup: Pakistan lost to India in their last match.© AFP

The Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team is at a crucial juncture at the ODI Cricket World Cup 2023. After starting the tournament with two straight wins, the star-studded side slumped to a big loss against the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. While the Cricket World Cup still has a long way to go and Pakistan cricket team will have many opportunities to bounce back, a loss to India always hits hard.

Pakistan cricket team next faces Australia on October 20 in Bengaluru, and ahead of that match several media reports claimed that a few members of the Babar Azam-led side were down with viral fever.

However, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson has been quoted by at least two Pakistan media outlets as saying that it was not a case of viral infection and that the players are recovering.

“Thankfully, there is no viral infection or disease,” a PCB spokesperson told “Those who are in the stage of recovery remain under the team medical panel’s observation.”

Cricket Pakistan also quoted a Pakistan media manager as saying: “Some players got fever in the past few days and most of them have fully recovered from it. Those who are in the stage of recovery remain under the team medical panel’s observation.”

Confusion regarding Pakistan’s practice timing also added to the confusion.

For both Pakistan and Australia, their October 20 clash is crucial. While Pakistan has won two games and lost one, Australia just opened their win tally against Sri Lanka, previously losing to India and South Africa. Pakistan lost their previous match against arch-rivals India as well.

Meanwhile, a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said that the governing body’s chief Zaka Ashraf returned from India on Monday and is having a series of meetings with the senior board officials to discuss his visit to India.

“Zaka Ashraf was himself present at Ahmedabad for the match against India and is witness to some incidents which has left him unhappy despite the Indian cricket officials’ hospital during his stay there,” the source said. He said the chairman was at present only discussing his visit with his senior aides.

Pakistan’s team director and chief coach, Mickey Arthur, spoke about the crowd behaviour and its impact on his team after the defeat to India and ICC chairman, Greg Barclay, has responded that the sport’s world governing body was doing its best to make the World Cup a successful event.

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