Cricket Australia Struggles to Keep Ashes on Track Amid Covid Outbreak | Ashes 2021-22

The Ashes series continues to deal with Covid-19 after match referee David Boon tested positive for the virus and Australia and England were placed on separate flights to Sydney due to the growing outbreak among tourists.

Thursday’s news that Chris Silverwood, England’s head coach, is expected to miss the fourth test at SCG that begins Jan. 5 after a family member tested positive, the seventh case among staff support and families since Boxing Day, was followed by news. that Boon would also have to stay in Melbourne for 10 days of isolation.

Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed that Boon is fully vaccinated, including a booster, and asymptomatic, so he will return for the fifth test in Hobart, with Steve Bernard, on the ICC referee list and based in New South Wales , ready to replace. However, the governing body is clearly struggling to keep the series going amid England’s outburst.

Tourists awaited the results of a fourth round of testing on Thursday before their flight to Sydney on New Year’s Eve and a separate charter for the Australia tour party had been arranged on short notice. Both teams will be staying at the same hotel in Sydney, but their trip has been split to reduce contact time.

Graham Thorpe, the assistant coach, leads the England team on an interim basis as long as he passes the latest PCR tests. Silverwood intends to serve 10 days of isolation to ensure the well-being of his family in Melbourne, but in theory he could travel to Sydney after seven and thus in time for the second day of the fourth test.

“It’s not ideal, but it’s been that kind of tour,” Jimmy Anderson said, responding to the Silverwood news. ‚ÄúSomething has been happening the whole time. There are a lot of things outside of cricket that can be distracting, so it’s something we have to deal with. “

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England players have had meetings to learn how to deal with the Covid outbreaks on the tour, something that helped the third test continue to its conclusion after the first four cases from the camp came to light on the second morning of the event. match.

By contrast, Thursday night’s match between the Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars in Melbourne became the first Big Bash League match postponed since the start of the pandemic after a positive case emerged from behind the scenes. Stars.

CA told The Guardian that the two situations differed due to the number of players the Stars coach had close contact with prior to the positive result and the delay in PCR test results. England players and coaches mingled over the Christmas period and first day at MCG, but only lateral flow results were required to get out onto the field.

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