Ashes: Travis Head confirmed COVID positive, out of Sydney Test

Travis Head scored his third test century on Day 2. (Image: Wisden Cricket/Twitter)

COVID has continued to wreak havoc across the Ashes series with Australian batter confirmed to have tested positive and will be unavailable for the fourth Test at the SCG.

Following a routine PCR Test prior to the teams’ departure from Melbourne on Friday, Head returned the positive result. He is asymptomatic but in line with the Victorian Government health rules, he and his partner will remain in Melbourne and isolate.

It follows as an outbreak in the England camp during the Boxing Day Test threatened to derail the Ashes series and bring that Test to a premature close. Seven members of England’s touring party are confirmed positive cases and will remain in Melbourne to complete their isolation periods. Included in the party left behind in Melbourne are coaches are fast bowling and spin bowling coaches Jon Lewis, Jeetan Patel and head coach Chris Silverwood who is isolating as a close contact after one of his family members returned a positive Test.

All England players have been subjected to daily PCR testing since the outbreak with all Tests coming back negative overnight.

It also comes after a member of the Melbourne Stars support staff tested positive last night postponing the Melbourne Stars vs Perth Scorchers match scheduled for last night. It has since been reported that several players across different teams have returned positive results, prompting immediate doubts over the immediate and upcoming matches.

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Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Nic Maddinson have been added to the Australian squad as cover and join Usman Khawaja as the batters most likely to take Head’s place in Sydney.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families, and our support staff daily. Unfortunately, Travis returned a positive Covid-19 result earlier today. Thankfully, he is asymptomatic at this stage. We anticipate that he will be available to play in the fifth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test in Hobart.

“We are grateful to our exceptional medical staff for all the work they have done throughout this series and we will continue to work with and support the players, their families, and staff from both teams.”

Both Australia and England are still expected to travel to Sydney separately later today.

More to come.

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