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Third Ashes Test to continue after players return negative PCR tests

The match, and the remainder of the Ashes Series, was plunged into doubt after news that the virus had made its way into England’s wider travelling group, but the players have now been given the all clear; there are now six positive cases in England’s wider travelling group

Last Updated: 27/12/21 9:46pm

    England's players have been given the all clear to continue playing in the third Ashes Test

    England’s players have been given the all clear to continue playing in the third Ashes Test

    The third Ashes Test will continue as planned in Melbourne after the England and Australia players all returned negative PCR Covid-19 tests.

    The match, and the remainder of the series, was plunged into doubt after news that the virus had made its way into England’s wider travelling group, but the players have now been given the all clear.

    It is understood there are now six confirmed cases within the England party, which has swelled to over 60 during the Christmas period, comprising three of the backroom team and three family members.

    A statement issued by Cricket Australia ahead of Tuesday’s play read: “Players from the Australian and England teams all had PCR Covid-19 Tests after play yesterday and all results have come back negative.

    Official #Ashes Update | Players from the Australian and England teams all had PCR Covid-19 Tests after play yesterday and all results have come back negative.

    The families of both sets of players also had PCR tests yesterday and all returned a negative test.

    — Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) December 27, 2021

    “The families of both sets of players also had PCR tests yesterday and all returned a negative test.

    “The England team’s support staff and their family members who tested positive after PCR tests yesterday are in isolation. Play in the third Vodafone men’s Ashes Test match resumes at the MCG at 10.30am today.”

    Testing is likely to continue at an increased-rate now, with the family group due to take follow-up tests on Tuesday.

    The current Ashes schedule remains unchanged – with the New Year’s Test in Sydney set to begin on January 5, followed by the series finale in Hobart from January 14.

    Both teams are due to share a charter flight from Melbourne to New South Wales at the conclusion of the current match and will have exclusive access to a hotel in Sydney.

    Former England seamer Ryan Sidebottom believes England's batting collapse in the final hour of day two of the third Ashes Test stems from issues off the pitch as well as on it.

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    Former England seamer Ryan Sidebottom believes England’s batting collapse in the final hour of day two of the third Ashes Test stems from issues off the pitch as well as on it.

    Former England seamer Ryan Sidebottom believes England’s batting collapse in the final hour of day two of the third Ashes Test stems from issues off the pitch as well as on it.

    There are likely to be ongoing discussions between the respective boards’ governing restrictions around player movement, with protocols currently at ‘level 4’ which stops short of a ‘bubble’ environment but does not allow

    individuals to eat or shop indoors.

    England will resume their second innings on 31-4, still trailing Australia by 51 runs.