Australia captain Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide after being identified as a close contact of a COVID positive person. Steve Smith is leading the team in absence of Cummins, with Michael Neser replacing the pacer in playing XI. Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the same on their official Instagram account.
“Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Adelaide Test after he was deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Steve Smith will captain, Michael Neser will debut,” posted the official Instagram handle of Cricket Australia.
According to Nine newspapers, the Australian captain had gone out for dinner at an Adelaide restaurant with his brother and Strikers bowler Henry Conway. Unfortunately for Cummins, one of the people sitting at an adjoining table was identified as a COVID patient. The pacer immediately left the hotel and also informed the authorities.
Cummins had returned a negative PCR test but was told by the medical staff to isolate for seven days. Cummins took to Twitter and expressed his disappointment over the development.
"Gutted to miss this Test but really excited to see Neser finally get his chance in the baggy green," Cummins tweeted. "He has done the hard yards and is a seriously skillful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curve balls over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!"
Gutted to miss this Test but really excited to see Neser finally get his chance in the baggy green. He has done the hard yards and is a seriously skilful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curve balls over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) December 16, 2021
Australia won the first Ashes Test by nine wickets in Brisbane. Cummins's seven wickets across both innings and Travis Head’s 152 were instrumental in the hosts taking a lead in the five-match series.