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Wednesday, July 24, 2024  
17 Muharram 1446  

Another blow for Australia as three squad members test Covid positive

Earlier, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith were ruled out of series due to injury
Spinner Ashton Agar, physiotherapist Brendan Wilson, and wicketkeeper batter Joshua Patrick Inglis have tested positive for the virus. The Australian side is now left with 13 players. Reuters/File
Spinner Ashton Agar, physiotherapist Brendan Wilson, and wicketkeeper batter Joshua Patrick Inglis have tested positive for the virus. The Australian side is now left with 13 players. Reuters/File

At least three members of the Australian squad have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, another blow to the touring side after a couple of its star players were ruled out of the series because of injuries, Aaj News reported on Tuesday.

Australia and Pakistan are scheduled to play three matches during the One Day series, scheduled to start on March 29, (today) at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. Australia, touring Pakistan after 24 years, has won the three-match test series under the captaincy of pacer Pat Cummins. The first two test matches ended in a draw while the last contest was won by the Aussies, with star performances from Usman Khawaja and Pat Cummins.

The series is part of the 13-team ODI Super League and each match is worth 10 points. The top seven teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup next year.

Spinner Ashton Agar, physiotherapist Brendan Wilson, and wicketkeeper batter Joshua Patrick Inglis have tested positive for the virus. The Australian side is now left with 13 players.

Australia were already without key players David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Steven Smith for various reasons and have been further hit by the loss of all-rounder Marsh, their hero when they won the T20 World Cup in November.

All five senior players were part of the team that won the three-match Test series 1-0 last week.

Moreover, all-rounder Shadab Khan’s inclusion in the first ODI of the series is also doubtful as he was also reportedly injured.

“Very excited to be here, finally getting started. It feels like been a long time coming for me personally,” Australian team captain Aaron Finch said on Monday at the trophy unveiling ceremony.

He added that the practice wicket was “fantastic” and the ground was beautiful. “You cannot take anything for granted, every match point matters and it's going to be important to start the series well and hopefully win the first game,” he added.

Skipper Babar Azam had said the series was very important for the home side, adding that the World Cup point matters. “We are very confident and our last practice was outstanding,” he said, adding that the team would play with the new and senior combinations.

He urged fans to support both teams as they did in the test series.

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Gaddafi Stadium

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