Travis Head tests positive for COVID-19: The Australian batter won’t be travelling to Sydney for 4th Ashes Test 2022.
COVID-19 continues to take a toll on Australian cricket as batter Travis Head has returned a positive test hours before the Test team was scheduled to travel from Melbourne to Sydney for the New Year’s Test.
Head has followed the likes of England head coach Chris Silverwood’s family member, match referee David Boon, Melbourne Stars’ support staff member and a Sydney Thunder player to contact the virus in the recent days.
Head, who is asymptomatic, will isolate with his partner for seven days in Melbourne before moving to Hobart for the fifth Test assuming he recovers in time.
While Scorchers vs Stars BBL 11 match was postponed yesterday, Strikers vs Thunder New Year’s eve clash is likely to walk the same path today. Fourth Ashes 2021-22 Test, on the other hand, will be played from January 5 as per the original plan.
“As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“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.”
Who will replace Travis Head for Ashes 2021-22 New Years Test Sydney?
Although with a delay due to Head testing positive, both the teams and their families will be travelling to Sydney separately via charter flights today itself after undergoing PCR and RAT tests this morning.
Australia, who have a reserve batter in Usman Khawaja in their 15-member Ashes squad, are more than likely to include the 35-year old batter into their Playing XI for the fourth Test after more than a couple of years.
However, Australia still have included Perth Scorchers-duo Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis and Melbourne Renegades captain Nic Maddinson as cover for the fourth Test is Sydney. While Marsh has been is stellar T20 form, Inglis and Maddinson haven’t had the best of Big Bash seasons so far.
The comedy #ashes narrative will only be complete when Mitch Marsh scores a century in a session to seal a 5-0 whitewash in front of a capacity crowd at Hobart.
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) December 31, 2021
Having scored 352 runs in five Tests at an average of 70.40 at the Sydney Cricket Ground including one century and half-century each, Khawaja would be hoping to continuing the same form to replace an in-form Head. It is noteworthy that Head is Australia’s highest run-scorer in Ashes 2021-22 on the back of scoring 248 runs at an average and strike rate of 62 and 86.71 respectively including a century and half-century.