In the second Ashes Test beginning on Thursday, Steve Smith returned as the captain of the Australian squad after the information came to the forefront that captain Pat Cummings came into close contact with a Covid19 positive patient. The team will now continue their day and night affair in Adelaide with their stand-in captain Smith.
The Test will be Smith’s reintroduction to the position of captaincy since the South Africa ball-tampering controversy in 2018 in Cape Town. Due to the controversy, he did not only lose his captaincy but also faced a two-year ban from the leadership position along with one year ban from representing Australia.
On the morning of Thursday, Cricket Australia put out an official statement saying that Cummings was exposed to the Covid19 positive case on Wednesday when he was visiting a restaurant. Additionally, the board also made it clear that he had not breached any official biosecurity protocols.
Since then, Cummings had a Covid19 test which came negative. However, he will be under seven-day isolation due to his close contact with a positive case. Cricket Australia is expecting him for the third test in Melbourne which will be starting from December 26.
Cummings in a Twitter post shared, “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 skillful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curveballs over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!”
Smith on Thursday said that Cummings wished him the best for the second Test. He also revealed that he is honored to be able to lead Australia in the Test leg once again.
“It’s a huge honor obviously. Been a pretty interesting morning, but it’s been going on. Feel for Patty missing this game, but I’ll try to lead on the way he started last week, and hopefully, we can have a really good week,” he said after winning the toss.