In the latest news from the ongoing Ashes series, two members of England’s support staff as well two-family members of the support staff have returned COVID-19 positive in the tests conducted before play on Day 2 of the ongoing Boxing day Test in Melbourne. However, the match has continued as all the members of the playing contingent tested negative for the virus despite speculations over the future of the series.
The play did resume on Day 2 but with a 30-minute delay as the visiting team was delayed arriving at the ground due to the entire squad having to be tested after the infections were reported in their camp. It is being learned that a full round of PCR tests will be conducted on the England touring side later on Monday with extra precautions to combat the spread of the infection to be taken during the passage of play on Day 2.
“Cricket Australia has been informed that two members of the England cricket team’s support staff and two of their family members have returned a positive Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test,” a Cricket Australia statement said.
“The affected individuals are currently isolating. The entire playing group and all other support staff have undertaken Rapid Antigen Tests this morning and all have tested negative. The England cricket team will also have PCR tests today, and both teams will take extra precautions throughout play. Both playing squads remain unchanged,” the statement added.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2021
“There is currently no further impact on fans or other parts of the venue. Cricket Australia and the MCC will continue to monitor the situation and follow the endorsed Victorian Government Covid-Safe Event Plan,” it further read.
Even as the state of New South Wales registered 6,324 new Covid cases on Monday CA CEO Nick Hockley was confident that the fourth Test scheduled to be played in Sydney will go ahead as planned.
“I think we’ve shown that we’ve got great confidence in the protocols. They are increasing case numbers in New South Wales and in Sydney. We’ve got an exclusive property for the playing group. We are flying there by charter. This is something that we’re all having to live with. So again, [we’re] just extremely appreciative to the medical staff, both squads, both sets of playing groups for adhering to the protocols which are designed to keep everybody safe,” Hockley stated after the match began on Day 2.