Ashes: Travis Head tests positive for COVID-19, ruled out of Sydney Test
Travis Head is asymptomatic and will remain in Melbourne with his partner
Cricket Australia called up Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis into the Australian squad
Usman Khawaja is likely to replace Head in the Sydney Test
Australia cricketer Travis Head has tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has been ruled out of the fourth Test in Sydney, starting January 5. As Head tested positive for COVID-19, Australia delayed their flight from Melbourne to Sydney and called up replacements for the Sydney Test.
Cricket Australia, the governing body of Australian cricket, confirmed on Friday morning that Head had tested positive from a routine PCR test. He is asymptomatic and will remain in Melbourne with his partner to isolate himself under the Victorian government guidelines.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia called up Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis as cover in case there are further positive cases within the playing group.
But it is likely that Usman Khawaja, who is already part of the Australian squad, will replace Head as a middle-order batter in the Sydney Test.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson confirmed that the remainder of the Australia squad, families, and support staff have undergone PCR and RAT tests on Friday morning and are expected to travel to Sydney on a charter today.
"As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily," the spokesman said. "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."
England travelling separately
England, on the other hand, are travelling separately to Sydney without coach Chris Silverwood after it was confirmed one of his family members had tested positive for COVID-19. Silverwood, like Head, will miss the Sydney Test and remain in isolation in Melbourne. That brought the total number of positive cases in the England touring party to seven however the entire England playing group has reportedly returned negative PCR tests in the last 24 hours.
ICC Match referee David Boon will also miss the Sydney Test after testing positive to Covid-19. He has been replaced by Steve Bernard, who is based in New South Wales.