Jimmy Anderson expects Ashes series to continue despite risk of Covid chaos
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ames Anderson says he expects the Ashes series to continue as planned if England players return negative tests after tonight’s game.
Before a delayed start to day two at the MCG, it emerged that four members of the English party – two coaches, two family members – had tested positive.
A quick round of rapid tests was allowed as proof that England could complete the game of the day, but another round of PCR tests was needed at the end of the day, England 31 for four, still 51 behind the ‘Australia. The results are not expected until the morning.
Veteran Anderson, who played beautifully to take the numbers four for 33, said the players were not told what would happen if either of them were positive, but expected that if England could field a team, they would take the field.
“We weren’t told anything,” he said. “Far more important people than me will talk about it if and when these results come back.
“I’m sure that’s the plan [to continue as scheduled]. Again, it depends on the PCR tests and what situation we are in. As long as the group that’s on the ground today is negative, I don’t see why we can’t continue.
Anderson reported that neither player was experiencing symptoms, that extra precautions were being taken and that England were in fact ready to leave for the pitch when news of the first positive leaked.
“Yes, as far as I know the whole group of players are feeling good and the management who are on the pitch today everyone is doing well,” he said. “We have tightened security protocols around the locker room, wearing masks and keeping a distance as much as possible to make sure that if there is an infection around the group, it does not spread.
“We actually got on the bus to come to the ground at the usual time, but then we were told to get off the bus because we found some positive side flows. All the guys then walked in and had side streams to make sure we were all okay, then waited for the green light to come here on the ground which was about half past ten to a quarter to ten.
Anderson said England had had a ‘disappointing’ end to the day, but were happy with the way they played. He decided to play down any suggestion of a split between the English bowling and batting groups after another manly performance with the ball was sandwiched between two more difficult throws with the bat.
“It’s dangerous, as a bowler, to talk about our hitters,” he said. “We’re a team here. We’re all working hard to try to put in a much better performance. We didn’t play well in the first two games. Today we had a much better performance. The batting group is how hard they work to make things right. It can be difficult. I don’t want to get into a bowler-against-hitter story. We’re a team here. “
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