Hours before the start of the second Ashes Test between Australia and England, the home team faced a big blow as skipper Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Pink-Ball Test after having come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case at a restaurant last night in Adelaide.
Cummins went to dinner at an Adelaide restaurant with his New South Wales teammate Harry Conway when someone was identified as a positive case. Cummins reportedly left immediately and informed the authorities.
“Cummins was dining in a restaurant last night and did not breach any biosecurity protocols. He isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation and has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result. We anticipate that he will be available to play in the third Vodafone men’s Ashes Test at the MCG in Melbourne,” a release from Cricket Australia read.
“Cummins is understandably very disappointed not to be able to captain Australia for the day-night Test in Adelaide. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were dining at the same restaurant as Cummins but at a separate table outdoors. SA Health has deemed them casual contacts, and they are free to play,” the release added.
In the absence of Cummins, vice-captain Steve Smith will lead the Aussies for the first time since Cape Town 2018. Queensland seamer Michael Neser will make his Test debut after being included as Cummins’ replacement. South Australian Travis Head has been named vice-captain.
Meanwhile, Cummins took to Twitter and expressed his disappointment for missing the 2nd Test but also passed his wishes towards Neser, who is set to make his Test debut.
“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! “ tweeted Cummins on Thursday.
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