Australian captain Pat Cummins was ruled out of the second Ashes Test after he came in close contact with a Covid-19 patient. Under his captaincy, Australia won the first Test by nine wickets. Cummins absence was a big blow for Australia. In his absence, Steven Smith was named captain of the Australian side. However, in a positive piece of news, Cummins is all set to return for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne after returning COVID-19 negative.
Cummins went out for dinner at an Adelaide steakhouse along with NSW and Adelaide Strikers fast bowler Harry Conway on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for him, a person sitting on the adjacent table was found COVID-19 positive.
Cummins was identified as close contact and was asked to isolate for seven days. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon also dined in the same steakhouse but they chose to sit outside and were deemed casual contacts. On Saturday, cricket.com.au confirmed that Cummins will be available for selection in Melbourne
“As it stands, Cummins is free to train ahead of his expected availability for the third Test starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day,” cricket.com.au wrote on Saturday.
On Saturday, Cummins returned to Sydney. The NSW Health authorities have not listed Adelaide’s steakhouse as a place of interstate concern. Hence, Cummins will not have to complete his isolation period in Sydney and will be able to resume training.
“Cummins, who has tested negative to the virus, can mix with family but only in small groups while being urged to avoid any highly populated location, particularly indoors. But being able to train and do fitness work is a bonus for the fast bowler who would have been contained to a hotel room for seven days had he remained in Adelaide,” cricket.com.au wrote.
Along with Cummins, Josh Hazlewood was also ruled out of the match due to side strain. Jhye Richardson replaced Hazlewood while Michael Neser was drafted in for Cummins.