Ashes 2021:Due To COVID-19, Smith Takes Over As Australia Captain From Cummins
Pat Cummins, Australia’s captain, will miss the match after being identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Steve Smith is back as Australia’s captain for the second Ashes Test, which begins on Thursday.
It will be Smith’s first outing as captain since the ball-tampering controversy in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018, which lost him the captaincy and a two-year leadership ban, as well as a 12-month ban from representing Australia.
Cummins was infected to the COVID-19 case while dining in a restaurant the night before the day-night test at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, Cricket Australia said in a statement released less than three hours before the toss. He had not broken any biosecurity procedures.
Cummins was immediately isolated after becoming aware of the incident, and a COVID-19 test was negative. However, because he is a close contact, he must isolate for seven days. He should be available for the third Test, which begins on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, according to Cricket Australia.
“I’m sorry to have missed this test, but I’m extremely happy to watch Neser get his shot in the baggy green,” Cummins said on Twitter. “He’s put in the effort and is a highly skilled player.” COVID has thrown us all several curve balls over the last couple of years, which has been really aggravating. “I’ll be rooting for you!”
Fellow Australian bowlers Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were dining at the same restaurant as Cummins, but at a separate outside table, according to Cricket Australia. Starc and Lyon had only casual acquaintances, according to SA Health, and they are free to play.
Cummins’ absence, as well as that of injured Josh Hazlewood, is a major setback for Australia, who won the series opener by nine wickets in Brisbane.
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith(c), Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon
England (Playing XI): Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson