Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis have been called up as cover
Cricket Australia confirmed on Friday morning that Head had tested positive from a routine PCR test becoming the first player in either squad to be effected. He is asymptomatic and will remain in Melbourne with his partner to isolate for seven days under the Victorian government guidelines.
A Cricket Australia spokesperson confirmed that the remainder of the Australia squad, families, and support staff have undergone PCR and rapid tests on Friday morning and are still expected to travel to Sydney on a charter today.
“As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily,” the spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, Travis returned a positive Covid-19 result earlier today. Thankfully, he is asymptomatic at this stage. We anticipate that he will be available to play in the fifth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test in Hobart.
“We are grateful to our exceptional medical staff for all the work they have done throughout this series and we will continue to work with and support the players, their families and staff from both teams.”
The first Covid case to hit the Ashes appeared on the second morning of the MCG Test although the game was able to continue after the rest of the England squad were cleared through rapid tests. There has been daily PCR testing since.
New South Wales recorded more than 21,000 cases on Friday. The definition of a close contact has been narrowed following a meeting of the state and federal government on Thursday and the isolation period reduced in most states.
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo