Australia’s batting mainstay in the ongoing Ashes series, Travis Head, has tested positive for coronavirus, the nation’s apex cricket body informed on Friday. Cricket Australia added that this will see the left-handed batter missing the upcoming fourth Test of the ongoing series. The fourth game starts on January 5 in Sydney. (More Cricket News)
With 248 runs to his name in three games, including a match-winning century in the first Test, Head is the leading run-scorer for Australia in the ongoing Ashes series. Though he misses the upcoming game, he is currently asymptomatic and is expected to join the squad for the fifth and final Test of the series.
Usman Khawaja, who is already with the Australian team, is more likely to replace Head in the squad for the Sydney Test. Meanwhile, Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis have also been added to the Australian team as "additional cover".
"As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily," said a Cricket Australia spokesperson, adding, "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.”
While Head happens to be the first case in Australia’s squad in the ongoing Ashes series, England’s head coach Chris Silverwood is already isolating himself in Melbourne after coming in contact of one of the COVID positive members in the Three Lions’ camp.
"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," the CA spokesperson said.
Australia have already gained an unassailable lead of 3-0 after registering thumping victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.
While Head bagged the player of the match award in the first Test, Marnus Labuschagne was the architect of Australia’s victory in the second game with scores of 103 and 51.
The star of the third game was Test debutant Scott Boland, who returned terrific figures of 6/7 in the second innings of England to help Australia ease past the Three Lions and retain the Ashes.