After coming into close contact with a positive coronavirus case, Australia captain Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Ashes second Test in Adelaide.
The stunning turn of events occurred only hours before the start of the pink-ball encounter, with Steve Smith now leading Australia and Travis Head serving as the hosts’ vice-captain at Adelaide Oval.
Pat Cummins followed team procedures and went out for an evening supper in the city, where he sat next to a person who had been discovered to be infected with the virus.
Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, according to Cricket Australia, were dining at the same restaurant as Cummins but at a separate outdoor table. They’re considered casual contacts, thus they’re allowed to play.
Smith, who was elected vice-captain prior to the series, will now command Australia for the first time since resigning as captain following the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa in 2018.
Michael Neser replaces Cummins in Australia’s bowling attack and makes his Test debut for a team that has already lost another important seamer, Josh Hazlewood, to a side strain.
After a nine-wicket victory over England in the first match in Brisbane, Australia leads the five-match series 1-0.
“Pat Cummins has been designated a close contact of a person who had a positive Covid-19 test last night,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“Last night, Cummins dined in a restaurant and did not violate any biosecurity rules.” He went into isolation as soon as he realised what was going on and has since had a PCR test, which came back negative.
Gutted to miss this Test but really excited to see Neser finally get his chance in the baggy green. He has done the hard yards and is a seriously skilful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curve balls over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) December 16, 2021
“SA Health has established that Cummins is a close contact and that he will be required to isolate for seven days,” says the statement. As a result, Cummins will miss the second Vodafone men’s Ashes Test match in Adelaide, which begins today.
“It’s understandable that Cummins is disappointed.”
“Gutted to miss this Test, but incredibly excited to see Neser finally get his shot in the baggy green,” Cummins wrote on Twitter. He’s put in the effort and is a highly skilled player.
“It’s been quite difficult, but COVID has thrown us all some curveballs over the last few years.” “I’ll be rooting for you!”
For Live cricket news, cricket match updates, latest cricket news, live cricket score and other cricket news follow Livematchupdates.com.