Australia received a big setback ahead of the second Ashes Test as their captain Pat Cummins was ruled out of the game. Cummins was identified as a close contact of a person who was later confirmed as COVID positive. Cricket Australia confirmed the news on their official Instagram handle.
Vice-captain Steve Smith will lead the side in absence of Cummins. Michael Neser has been included in the team in place of Cummins. “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.
As per reports, Cummins had gone out for dinner with his brother and Strikers bowler Henry Conway. Unfortunately for him, one of the people sitting at an adjoining table was identified as a COVID patient.
Cummins had a good first Test in Brisbane and took seven wickets to lead Australia to a win. The discussion to exclude Cummins from the Adelaide Test was taken after consultation with the health authorities. The Australian captain shared a Tweet and expressed his disappointment on 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 skilful 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
Earlier, Josh Hazlewood was also ruled out of the Adelaide Test after suffering a side strain. Jhye Richardson was announced as his replacement. Australia are leading the Ashes series 1-0. Meanwhile, England would be hoping to make a strong comeback after the loss in Brisbane Test.