The Ashes: Australia’s Travis Head ruled out of fourth Test against England with Covid | Cricket News

Travis Head tests positive at Covid-19 and will miss the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney; The England players have all tested negative, despite an outbreak in the field, and fly to Sydney to begin preparations; Cricket Australia says coach Justin Langer’s contract extension talks can wait

Last updated: 31/12/21 6:46


Australian Travis Head will miss the fourth Ashes Test

Covid-19 continues to cast a shadow over the Ashes, with a positive test for the Australian Travis Head that excludes him from the fourth test in Sydney.

Head’s result is back after the final round of PCR testing, forcing him into a mandatory seven-day solitary confinement in Melbourne as the rest of the team travels to Sydney for the fourth test.

This represents a further escalation following an outbreak in the camp in England, which so far has seen seven cases including three members of the support staff and four of the traveling family group.

Head coach Chris Silverwood is also isolating himself after one of his family members returned positive and has for now handed over control of the team to assistant Graham Thorpe.

Monty Panesar believes Surrey Cricket Director Alec Stewart could replace England head coach Chris Silverwood if ECB decides to make a change

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Monty Panesar believes Surrey Cricket Director Alec Stewart could replace England head coach Chris Silverwood if ECB decides to make a change

Monty Panesar believes Surrey Cricket Director Alec Stewart could replace England head coach Chris Silverwood if ECB decides to make a change

Match referee David Boon stepped down from the New Years test after contracting the virus and the wider context in Australia also offers cause for concern, with the Big Bash League’s continuation in doubt due to the advancement of the Omicron variant.

While there is a shared willingness to complete the entire series as scheduled – England flew to Sydney on Friday on time after a whole round of negative results – Australia has begun to cover their bases by enlisting Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis and Nic Maddinson as a team cover.

Yet even the act of calling three players after the withdrawal of just one suggests that there is growing anxiety about the spread.

England’s behind-the-scenes team is already on the edge, with spin coach Jeetan Patel, fast bowling specialist Jon Lewis and strength and conditioning driving Darren Veness all into quarantine. If more players, on both sides, start to get involved, there will be inevitable speculation about the feasibility of the series, which Australia has already won with an unassailable 3-0.

Former England hitter Mark Butcher believes Chris Silverwood has too much power as both head coach and head sorter

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Former England hitter Mark Butcher believes Chris Silverwood has too much power as both head coach and head sorter

Former England hitter Mark Butcher believes Chris Silverwood has too much power as both head coach and head sorter

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “As part of our testing procedures, we test PCR players, their families and our support staff on a daily basis.

“Unfortunately, Travis returned a positive result at Covid-19 today. Thankfully, he is asymptomatic at this stage. We anticipate that he will be available to play in Vodafone’s Fifth Men’s Ashes Test in Hobart.

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

Head, the Australian series top scorer with 248 points out of an average of 62, could be replaced by Usman Khawaja at SCG, with the seasoned hitter serving as 12th man throughout the series.

Australian David Warner believes England was too short and needed a better start to the Ashes series to give themselves a chance to win

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Australian David Warner believes England was too short and needed a better start to the Ashes series to give themselves a chance to win

Australian David Warner believes England was too short and needed a better start to the Ashes series to give themselves a chance to win

The longer contract extension can wait

Cricket Australia high-performance boss Ben Oliver said a decision on Justin Langer’s future would be made after the completion of the Ashes series, with the manager’s contract expiring in mid-2022.

Langer’s leadership was criticized amid player discontent ahead of the T20 World Cup, but he led Australia to victory over New Zealand in the final and led them to an unassailable 3-0 over England in the Ashes series.

Former England hitter Nick Compton believes Chris Silverwood should be replaced and believes Gary Kirsten would be a good option to succeed him

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Former England hitter Nick Compton believes Chris Silverwood should be replaced and believes Gary Kirsten would be a good option to succeed him

Former England hitter Nick Compton believes Chris Silverwood should be replaced and believes Gary Kirsten would be a good option to succeed him

“We made a commitment before the beginning of the summer that we would be really focused on the World Cup campaign, this Ashes campaign and once this series was over we would come back as a collective and work on that,” said Oliver. of Langer’s position.

“Justin did a great job. I think he really embraced the conversations that took place over the winter and he really evolved and leaned on that.”

Langer’s position at the helm came under scrutiny in August due to discontent with his coaching style, prompting talks between players and referees that saw the former opening hitter alter his approach.

“Those conversations were really constructive at the time and a great credit to the player leaders who were able to provide really constructive feedback,” said Oliver.

Former England hitter Mark Butcher considers possible replacements for Joe Root should he resign as Test Captain

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Former England hitter Mark Butcher considers possible replacements for Joe Root should he resign as Test Captain

Former England hitter Mark Butcher considers possible replacements for Joe Root should he resign as Test Captain

“Justin embraced those conversations and ultimately we created – and helped create together with the other support staff and player leaders – an environment in which the team was able to perform incredibly well.”

The final test of the Ashes series begins in Hobart on January 14th. Australia then have white ball matches with New Zealand and Sri Lanka scheduled before the test team travels to Pakistan for a three-game streak in March.

Oliver said there was no specific timeline for Langer’s contract talks, but that it was great to see the success Australia was having.

“The team played incredible cricket and it is a great credit to the players, the staff and everyone who has been involved in the journey over a long period of time that these players support them,” he added.

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