England coach to miss fourth Ashes Test

Chris Silverwood: England coach to miss fourth Ashes Test after being forced to isolate for 10 days

Silverwood has come under pressure following England's performances in Australia

England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood will miss the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney after being forced to isolate for 10 days.

He must isolate after a family member as part of England’s touring party in Australia tested positive for Covid-19.

The fourth Ashes Test starts in Sydney on Wednesday, 5 January 2022.

England have recorded seven positive cases – three support staff and four family members – since a PCR testing regime began on Monday 27 December.

The three coaches to test positive are fast bowling coach Jon Lewis, spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel and strength and conditioning coach Darren Veness.

Silverwood and his family will have to isolate in Melbourne where England suffered their latest defeat as they went 3-0 down on the way to losing the Ashes.

England will have a fourth round of PCR tests on Thursday before they, along with Australia, are scheduled to fly to Sydney on a chartered flight the following morning.

Silverwood and England captain Joe Root have come under pressure after their side’s performances against Australia.

England are without a win in their past 13 Tests in Australia, losing 12 and drawing one.

“It’s frustrating and we’re just hoping that it’s not spreading any further so we can make sure everyone is safe and able to travel to Sydney,” fast bowler James Anderson told BBC Test Match Special.

“It’s not ideal but it’s been that sort of tour really – there’s been lots of stuff happening all the time away from the cricket that can cause distractions.

“It’s another thing we’ve got to deal with and we’ve got two Test matches where we’ve got to restore some pride and try to compete, so that’s our main focus.”

Assistant coach Graham Thorpe will take charge of England in Silverwood’s absence.

“Graham was in charge of the group when Chris was at the T20 World Cup so we know he can do a good job and step in seamlessly,” added Anderson.

International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee David Boon will also miss the fourth Test after testing positive for Covid-19.

Steve Bernard, a member of the International Panel of ICC Referees, will take his place.

Former Australia batter Boon will quarantine in Melbourne for 10 days but is expected to return to the role for the fifth Test in Hobart, which starts on 14 January.

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