ADELAIDE (REUTERS) – Australian skipper Pat Cummins has been kicked out of the second Ashes test in Adelaide after being identified as close contact of a Covid-19 case, elevating Steve Smith to captain for the first time since “Sandpaper -gate ”in 2018.
The board said the Cummins fast pitcher would have to self-isolate for seven days, meaning he would miss the second day-night test starting later Thursday (December 16) and look to play in Game 3 at Melbourne from December 26.
CA confirmed media reports that Cummins was dining at a restaurant in Adelaide on Wednesday night where a positive case of Covid-19 was identified.
Fast pitcher Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon were dining at the same restaurant but at a separate table outside.
They were considered casual contacts and are free to play.
“(Cummins) has not violated any biosafety protocols,” CA said in a statement.
“He isolated himself as soon as he became aware of the situation and has since had a PCR test, which has given a negative result.
“SA Health has confirmed that Cummins is in close contact and will need to self-isolate for seven days.”
Vice-captain Smith returned to the captain’s post almost four years after losing it to his involvement in the Newlands ball tampering scandal in 2018. Then he was suspended from international cricket and most domestic matches. for 12 months and was also banned from a managerial position in the Australian setup for two years. The leadership ban expired in March 2020.
Cummins, the world’s best try-pitcher, led Australia to a nine-wicket victory over England in the Ashes’ opener in Brisbane, his first game as captain.
Her absence from Adelaide’s day test is a blow to Australia as they look to take a 2-0 lead in the five-test series.
The home side have now lost two of their first-choice rapids, with Josh Hazlewood being replaced in the attack by Jhye Richardson after suffering a side strain at Gabba.
Uncapped rhythm veteran Michael Neser replaces Cummins in the offense for his test debut in the pink ball game.
“Cummins is understandably very disappointed that they cannot order Australia for the day-night test in Adelaide,” CA said.
Intermediate drummer Travis Head will be vice-captain.
CA declined to comment on whether it would revise its biosafety arrangements for the rest of the Ashes. The only limitations for players when it comes to mixing in public are that they go in small groups.