England coach to miss Ashes Test after Covid positive

Sydney (AFP) – England cricket coach Chris Silverwood will miss the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney after a family member tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday.


Silverwood, along with his family, will have to isolate in Melbourne for 10 days while the rest of the team heads to Sydney for the Test which begins on January 5, the English Cricket Board said in a statement.

The family member is the seventh person to test positive in the touring side since arriving in Australia.

On Monday, two members of England's support staff and two of their family members tested positive for coronavirus at the Melbourne Test were also placed into isolation.

It leaves England recovering from an embarrassing series defeat without their head coach, after Australia retained the Ashes with two Tests left to play.

Recently Australia has experienced a surge in infections, with the Omicron outbreak centred in Sydney.

In Sydney's state of New South Wales, anyone considered a close contact must isolate for seven days, but authorities earlier pledged the rules would not impact the "sacred" Ashes.

"The SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) Test is sacred, an important date at the start of the third year of our life with Covid-19," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in a statement after previous positive cases.

"I want to assure the cricket-loving public, under our rules, any players with exposure to a known case of Covid-19 would be asked to test and isolate only until a negative result was received."

The fifth and final Test is in Hobart, where there have been far fewer Covid cases than Sydney.