Ashes confrontation talks loom as new details emerge about Covid horror and Sydney’s test plans – Sky Sports Breaking News 2021

Ashes confrontation talks loom as new details emerge about Covid horror and Sydney's test plans, News Sky Sports, sky sports

The location of the fourth ash test could hinge on the imminent crucial talks between Australia and England cricket boards and what protocols players will have to adhere to in the wake of the positive Covid case that led to the boxing day test drama.

The location of the fourth ash test could hinge on the imminent crucial talks between Australia and England cricket boards and what protocols players will have to adhere to in the wake of the positive Covid case that led to the boxing day test drama.

England’s preparations for a second day of Melbourne testing were in disarray on Monday, with the team’s arrival – and the first ball of the day – postponed after two team members and two members of their family tested positive for a rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

The entire England playgroup, as well as all other support staff, conducted Rapid Antigen tests, with all tests negative and were allowed to play. But all players took extra precautions while playing on Monday and had plans to undergo PCR tests after the trunks.

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A fourth test is scheduled to begin January 5 at the SCG. But with an explosion of Covid cases in recent weeks – 6,324 were recorded in the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm on Sunday – and chaos on Monday among the England camp, doubts arose over whether the match would take place in Sydney.

As it stands, anyone in New South Wales considered in close contact should be quarantined for a week – legislation that would end any hopes of the traditional New Year’s test being held in Sydney.

Foxsports.com.au understands that Cricket Australia (CA) has already suggested to the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the protocols to which both teams are subject should be tightened – a proposal that the ECB rejected on uncertain terms.

Two weeks ago, CA raised its biosecurity protocols to Level 4 restrictions for the third and fourth ash tests. Under protocols, England and Australia players are prohibited from mixing in crowds – such as going to restaurants, getting a haircut or working out in public gyms – and have been isolated in team bubbles to avoid excluding one or several players.

Cricket Australia has rejected foxsports.com.au that it had proposed raising the European Central Bank’s restrictions to Level 5.

There is hope that NSW will relax strict quarantine measures before January 5, but whether these changes in status will satisfy England remains in doubt. If not, England’s preference is to stay in Melbourne and play the second consecutive Test at the MCG.

Australian cricket chief Nick Hockley said on Monday he had “great confidence in protocols” in NSW. He added that CA has “exclusive ownership” in Sydney for the group they are playing in and will fly into the state via a chartered flight.

When asked if he was confident the fourth Test would go ahead in Sydney, Hockley said: “That’s exactly the plan and there’s no indication otherwise. It’s a daily show.”

The fifth test, which has already been moved from Perth to Hobart, begins January 14, with News Corp reporting that California has already received assurance from the Tasmanian government that players will still be allowed to travel to the state on a chartered flight, even if its border with New South Wales is closed. before the match.

Covid actually played a significant role in The Ashes, both before and during the series. England fought hard before traveling to Australia for the families tour to allow them certain privileges, while Australian captain Pat Cummins was disqualified from a second test in Adelaide after being deemed to have been in close contact with a positive case.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said he was concerned about what would happen if the restrictions were imposed in light of the terms of the tours agreed to by England.

“They were very close to not coming to Australia because of what they’ve been through in the last 18 months,” Vaughan said. “They’ve been through a lot.

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“I know they agreed to go out with the protocols that they would do two weeks in Brisbane, but I was led to believe that all of the organization was OK to come to Australia as long as they had a semi-normal life and were able to go out and do things.

“Obviously last week the restrictions have been sort of brought back in again and against this I am sure they will come back again. I would be very careful what this English side might do if the restrictions were changed completely and they are back in a full bubble. I’m not sure they would agree to that “.

Vaughan also threw his support behind the fourth test held in Melbourne to reduce the risk of the test being cancelled.

“Can the next test take place here in Melbourne under the spotlight at MCG on January 5 to stay in Victoria where the protocols are different from Sydney? Do we want to risk taking two broadcast teams, broadcast crew and production crew? Then you get to SCG and there is one case in the team on day one and it ends Test match.

“Definitely the CA has to be proactive…there is a possibility that the Covid positive virus will spread around the side and so I think the CA should act very quickly.

“Under the spotlight here at MCG there could be a real possibility.”

Meanwhile, Channel 7’s coverage on Monday was shaken by a positive Covid test that forced its commentary team to reshuffle.

“The Seven Network confirms that it is responding after a member of the Ashes broadcast staff at MCG tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday night,” said Louis Martin, Seven Network’s Head of Sports.

“The employee was asymptomatic at the time of testing and has been in self-isolation from the moment the positive result was returned.”

Things deteriorated so quickly for England in the tumultuous final hour of play on Monday that no one was ready to racket when night guard Jack Leach was hit with a second ball.

Ben Stokes finally appeared in a loud boo at the MCG as England once again found themselves at the mercy of the Australians this summer.

England worked hard all day on the field to get their way back into the competition but that was all undone in the last 45 minutes as Australia completely dominated.

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