England’s ill-fated Ashes trip was hit by a further blow as head coach Chris Silverwood was forced into 10 days of isolation after a family member tested positive for Covid-19 – the seventh member of the tourists’ entourage to catch the virus.

Silverwood, who is under pressure to keep his job, will now miss the fourth Test at Sydney, starting on January 5, leaving assistant coach Graham Thorpe in temporary charge as England seek to avoid going 4-0 down.

Silverwood is the fourth of the backroom staff to go into isolation, after positive tests for spin-bowling coach Jeetan Patel, fast-bowling coach Jon Lewis and Darren Veness, the strength and conditioning coach.

Chris Silverwood will have to miss the fourth Ashes Test after a close contact with Covid

Chris Silverwood will have to miss the fourth Ashes Test after a close contact with Covid

Chris Silverwood will have to miss the fourth Ashes Test after a close contact with Covid 

The positive test for a member of the Silverwood family brings to four the number of family members on this trip to have returned positive tests. 

More tests were due on Thursday evening in Melbourne, amid fears that others will be forced to isolate as the omicron variant spreads across the state of Victoria.

So far, the positive case in the Silverwood family has not affected the travel plans of any other member of England’s party.

Graham Thorpe (right) will be in temporary charge of changing England's fortunes

Graham Thorpe (right) will be in temporary charge of changing England's fortunes

Graham Thorpe (right) will be in temporary charge of changing England’s fortunes

England have endured a disastrous tour and this is yet another low point for the team

England have endured a disastrous tour and this is yet another low point for the team

England have endured a disastrous tour and this is yet another low point for the team

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement read: ‘Following the latest round of PCR tests administered to the England Men’s touring party on Wednesday 29 December, one family member has tested positive.

‘As a result of the positive test, England Men’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood will have to isolate for 10 days, along with his family, in Melbourne and will miss the fourth Ashes Test due to start in Sydney on Wednesday 5 January 2022.

‘The touring party have recorded seven positive cases – three support staff and four family members – since a PCR testing regime was implemented on Monday 27 December.

‘Both teams – England and Australia – are due to fly to Sydney via a chartered flight on Friday morning.’

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