Prior to the second day of the third Ashes Test on Monday, England was hit with a significant Covid worry, with four members of the team camp — two support staff and two family members — testing positive for coronavirus. Just as they were about to leave their hotel for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the players and management were compelled to undergo urgent fast antigen tests. They were granted the green light just 45 minutes before kickoff, with the start time pushed back half an hour to 11 a.m, to give them time to warm up.

“A positive Covid-19 rapid antigen test has been returned by two members of the England Cricket team’s support personnel and two of their family members,” Cricket Australia stated in a statement.

“This morning, the entire playing group and all other support workers underwent quick antigen tests, and all of them tested negative,” the statement stated.

“PCR tests will be performed on the England Cricket squad today, and both teams will take extra precautions throughout the game.” “Both of the playing squads are unaltered.”

The Seven Network, an Australian broadcaster, also confirmed that a positive case had occurred among their workers working at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, causing them to make last-minute adjustments to their commentary team. Australia is 61 for one on day two, in response to England’s 185-run total.

After crushing defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, England must win in Melbourne to keep the five-match series alive, with Australia needing only a draw to retain the urn. The dramatic circumstances, according to Australia skipper Pat Cummins, are a sign of the times.

He told sports broadcaster SEN, “It kind of feels like the last few years, doesn’t it?” “However, it’s a reflection of the times that you have to be quite adaptable.” Cummins was ruled out immediately before the start of the second Test in Adelaide due to coming in close contact with a positive Covid-19 case. Two members of the press who were covering the match tested positive as well.