Details emerge after Ashes Test rocked by fresh Covid-19 drama

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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  • Mitchell Starc
    Mitchell Starc
    Australian cricketer
As well as players being on high alert for Covid-19, media and broadcasters covering the Ashes series have been sent a scare with two workers testing positive for the virus. (Photo by Peter Mundy/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
As well as players being on high alert for Covid-19, media and broadcasters covering the Ashes series have been sent a scare with two workers testing positive for the virus. (Photo by Peter Mundy/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Media covering the second Ashes Test in Adelaide are on high alert after two members of the Adelaide Oval broadcast crew tested positive for Covid-19.

Scheduled testing for those working at the ground identified the positive case, with ABC and BBC commentators confined to their hotel rooms and the media centre in the Southern Stand being deep cleaned.

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Masks and regular Covid-19 testing are a requirement for all media members throughout the Ashes series.

According to News Corp, the broadcaster interviewed England's Dawid Malan over the weekend, but since the conversation was conducted with masks on, the risk to the visiting batsman is low.

The confirmed case left both the ABC and BBC boxes empty given the organisations share callers, eventually both using a feed of callers based in Perth brought in at the last minute.

Glenn McGrath was also missing from the Seven Network given he works with the BBC, while Isa Guha could only return to the Fox coverage after returning a negative test.

A worker for Fox Sports was also found be be positive for the virus, however their case was unrelated to the is in the visiting broadcaster.

The cases and isolation required afterwards by SA Health is likely to impact the commentary plans of most of the broadcasters as the series prepares to head to Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest Covid-19 hotspots in Australia.

There are issues beyond that for broadcasters and cricket officials if more cases pop up among key staff.

The Ashes roadshow heads to Melbourne and Sydney next, with daily COVID case numbers in four figures in both cities.

The impact of less technological staff on site proved an issue at the Gabba, where there were DRS problems and the world-feed went down for almost half an hour.

Broadcasters must also find a way to keep their commentary teams and key staff operational.

One option could include employing tactics used during the football seasons, where they were split into two separate crews.

That would ensure that if one member caught the virus, the entire group of commentators and support crew would not be ruled out in one go.

Mitch Starc reveals full extent of Australia's Ashes Covid-19 close call

The drama comes after Mitchell Starc revealed on Saturday night that only an old-fashioned "p***-take" prevented more Australian bowlers being ruled of the Test.

Starc said he and Nathan Lyon didn't sit with Cummins at the fateful Wednesday night dinner in Adelaide for one reason.

"It was almost a bit of a p***-take because Pat didn't reply to our message," Starc said.

"We thought we would sit away from him and sit outside.

"So it has been a lucky one."

Starc and Lyon dined outside while Cummins was inside the Little Hunter steakhouse in central Adelaide, where another diner near Cummins was notified he had tested positive to COVID-19.

Mitchell Starc revealed it was only pure luck and a joke among teammates which resulted in he and spinner Garry Lyon opting not to sit with Pat Cummins at a restaurant prior to the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Mitchell Starc revealed it was only pure luck and a joke among teammates which resulted in he and spinner Garry Lyon opting not to sit with Pat Cummins at a restaurant prior to the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Due to Cummins' proximity, the skipper was deemed a close contact of the confirmed case.

Restrictions will become slightly harsher for players at the Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, ruling out indoor dining as well as activities like hair cuts and mixing with fans.

That Thursday morning ruling meant Cummins was withdrawn from playing in Adelaide and forced into seven days isolation.

Starc said he and Lyon were unaware of the Covid drama until they returned to the team hotel.

They spent Wednesday night uncertain if they would deemed a close contact and miss the Test.

"The spinner didn't sleep," Starc said about Lyon.

"I slept quite fine. There wasn't much I could do about it."

With AAP

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