Australia’s regular Test captain Pat Cummins has been allowed to fly to his home in New South Wales after missing the second Ashes Test at Adelaide, said Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday.
Cummins was ruled out of the Adelaide Test due to being deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person while dining with fellow New South Wales and Adelaide Strikers fast bowler Harry Conway at Little Hunter Steakhouse on the eve of the ongoing Test.
“Pat Cummins has been granted approval by SA Health to return home to NSW. Under the plan approved by SA Health, he will self-drive from isolation and then, with the appropriate PPE and hygiene controls, take a single charter flight,” read a statement from CA.
“Cricket Australia will continue to consult with SA Health to ensure compliance with the plan. He will continue to observe all isolation requirements in NSW. Cummins produced a negative test result on Thursday,” further said the statement.
The news will be seen as a relief for the Australian team, who feared for Cummins being isolated in a hotel room for seven days, especially with the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne starting from December 26.
SA Health rules require fully-vaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 positive people to complete a seven-day isolation.
“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 skilful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curve balls over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!” Cummins had tweeted on Thursday shortly before the Test was to begin.
In the absence of Cummins, Steve Smith has stepped up to captain Australia for the first time since the 2018 Sandpaper-gate scandal in Cape Town, South Africa. Australia are currently leading the five-match series 1-0.