James Anderson wants series to continue despite coronavirus scare


England fast bowler James Anderson is urging officials to continue with the Ashes series against Australia despite a COVID-19 drama which unfolded at the team’s hotel on Monday and delayed the start of Day Two of the third Test.

Like other sporting events around the world, this one could be at the mercy of COVID-19 test results. Before play even began on Monday, Cricket Australia called for calm after a COVID-19 scare involving two members of England’s support staff resulted in a 30-minute delay to the start of play.

Australia was bowled out for 267 as the home side grabbed a first-innings advantage of 82 runs, before England reached 31-4 in its second innings at stumps on Monday. 


Chaotic situation

“We got on the bus to come to the ground at the usual time and then got told to get off the bus because we found out about a couple of positives [cases],” Anderson said.

England’s players were then tested and waited about 45 minutes before the scheduled 10.30am start before heading to the ground. “We’re all having tests now,” Anderson said after taking 4-33 in Australia’s first innings. “We’ll have to wait and see what the results are. As long as the group that is here at the ground today are negative, I don’t see why we can’t carry on. As far as I’m aware, the whole playing group feels fine.”

Australia’s opening batter Marcus Harris said he was confident the show would go on. “There are going to be hiccups. It’s the world we live in,” Harris said. “We can get games played. Issues arise but there are things in place and everyone is trying their hardest to make sure the games are played. I think we will find a way to get it done.”

Earlier, Cricket Australia’s chief executive Nick Hockley said there was no need to change current plans, which include staging the fourth and fifth Tests in Sydney and Hobart, respectively.

‘Need to be calm’

“We just need to remain calm and get the facts. Everyone needs to follow the medical advice. On that basis, we keep going,” Hockley said.

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