Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the crunch T20 World Cup clash with England on Friday but is still expected to play at the MCG.
Rules allow players who test positive to feature in games, although International Cricket Council conditions state the Biosafety Advisory Group “will be the final arbiter as to the Covid status of any player and his consequential availability to participate in a match”.
Wade, whose conditions are thought to be mild, will travel to the fixture and train away from his team-mates after becoming the second player in the camp, following Adam Zampa, to test positive this week – leg-spinner Zampa sat out Australia’s seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Should Wade not play against England, David Warner or Glenn Maxwell could keep wicket, with no other recognised gloveman in the squad since Josh Inglis was ruled out following a hand injury sustained playing golf and replaced by all-rounder Cameron Green.
Captain Aaron Finch is another option, having kept wicket in the Big Bash League.
Australia and England’s meeting in Melbourne on Friday (9am UK time, with build-up from 8.30am on Sky Sports Cricket) is a virtual eliminator.
Both sides have lost one of their two matches so far in Super 12 Group 1 and another defeat could prove terminal.
England followed a five-wicket win over Afghanistan in their opening match in Perth on Saturday with a lacklustre five-run DLS loss to Ireland at the MCG on Wednesday.
Australia, meanwhile, bounced back from an 89-run thrashing to New Zealand in Sydney at the weekend with that success over Sri Lanka in Perth, as Marcus Stoinis smashed an 18-ball fifty – the fastest by an Australian in T20Is – to take his side to a target of 158 with 21 balls to spare.
Watch England vs Australia live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday. Build-up begins at 8.30am ahead of a 9am start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.