Matthew Wade tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of crucial England clash

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Wade is experiencing light symptoms according to Cricket Australia but, unless his condition worsens, he is still expected to feature on Friday in a showdown where the loser will be all-but eliminated. International Cricket Council regulations state the Biosafety Advisory Group "will be the final arbiter as to the Covid status of any player and his consequential availability to participate in a match". Wade must travel to the match separately and change and train away from his team-mates after becoming the second Australian case this week, with Adam Zampa testing positive ahead of the Sri Lanka game. The leg-spinner did not feature on that occasion after experiencing minor symptoms but Ireland's George Dockrell has played against both Sri Lanka and England despite his positive Covid test. Complicating matters for Australia is Wade is the only recognised gloveman in their 15-strong squad. Josh Inglis was the designated back-up but a freak golfing accident saw him ruled out with his place going to all-rounder Cameron Green. Glenn Maxwell was practicing wicketkeeping drills on Thursday, while Australia captain Aaron Finch has previously suggested David Warner would be the designated stumper if Wade was absent. Warner has stood in directly behind the stumps during a Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi eight years ago following a shoulder injury to Brad Haddin. Finch is another option if Wade is unavailable, having filled in at Big Bash League level.

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