Second Ashes Test hit by coronavirus scare as two members of media test positive

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The second Ashes Test was hit by another coronavirus scare after two members of the media tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.

The two individuals were working for separate organisations at the Adelaide Oval, with one of them confirmed as a member of the crew serving the BBC.

Consequently, no members of the BBC Test Match Special commentary team or those from Australian broadcast partner ABC were admitted to the ground for the fourth day’s play. ABC provided commentary remotely from a studio.

News of the first positive test came to light early in the day with the person concerned understood to have conducted an interview with England batter Dawid Malan on Saturday.

Malan was not deemed a close contact as the interview took place outside, was social distanced and the individual was wearing a mask.

A statement from the Adelaide Oval read: “We have been advised that a member of a broadcast crew has returned a positive Covid result as part of their scheduled testing.

“SA (South Australia) Health are aware and we have begun to trace and notify this person’s close contacts.

“In accordance with our pre-planning we are undertaking a deep clean of the relevant areas and are facilitating alternative facilities for relevant officials as required.”

Pat Cummins was ruled out ahead of the match as a close contact of a positive Covid case
Pat Cummins was ruled out ahead of the match as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Reports of a second positive test from a person working in a separate part of the ground were confirmed later in the day. Other members of the media were required to undergo further testing as a result.

A further statement added: “We have been made aware of a second member of the visiting media who has returned a positive Covid result as part of the scheduled day-six testing.

“This individual was working in the media centre in the western stand. He has not attended the ground today and neither have his close contacts. We are undertaking a clean of the relevant media area in-line with our protocols.”

The developments occurred after Australia captain Pat Cummins was ruled out of the match ahead of the first day’s play having been deemed a close contact of a positive coronavirus case.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook fears the coronavirus situation could start to impact the series (Adam Davy/PA).

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook fears the coronavirus situation could soon start to have an impact on the series.

He told BT Sport: “Now there’s Covid, which was brushed aside for a couple of games. Nothing was spoken about it, but then we come here and suddenly we’ve Cummins going, the media starting to get it.

“Are there going to be restrictions for them in Melbourne and Sydney? They didn’t want to tour Australia under these restrictions. All this stuff is going to start building again and England are probably going to be 2-0 down.

“How that dressing room stays together – it is so important they play some good cricket but it is going to be a hell of a task for (Joe) Root, (coach Chris) Silverwood and that management team.”

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