Australian middle-order batsman Travis Head has been ruled out of the upcoming fourth Ashes Test against England after being tested positive for COVID-19.

Head returned a positive result following a routine PCR test. He is asymptomatic and shall remain in isolation with his partner in Melbourne as per Victorian Health and Government regulation.

Notably, the new year Test will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground, starting January 05. The hosts have already clinched Ashes urn after defeating England in the third Test in Melbourne to take an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the five-match series.

Head is not the first positive case concerning the ongoing Ashes series. On Thursday, the ICC match referee David Boon and England’s head coach Chris Silverwood were moved into isolation as well. Before that, there have been some cases in the England travelling contingent.

It is expected that Head will be available for the fifth and final Test, scheduled to take place in Hobart.

“As part of our testing procedures, we are PCR testing players, their families and our support staff daily. Unfortunately, Travis returned a positive Covid-19 result earlier today. Thankfully, he is asymptomatic at this stage. We anticipate that he will be available to play in the fifth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test in Hobart,” said a Cricket Australia spokesperson in a statement.

“We are grateful to our exceptional medical staff for all the work they have done throughout this series, and we will continue to work with and support the players, their families and staff from both teams,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) has added Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis to the squad as a precautionary measure and as additional cover. Further, Usman Khawaja, whom Head beat out for a spot in the Australia XI ahead of that Gabba Test, is also in the squad.

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