The Ashes have been hit by yet more Covid drama when it emerged that Australian batsman Travis Head had been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test at Sydney after testing positive for the virus.

Head, Australia’s leading run-scorer in the first three games – with 248 at an average of 62 – will remain in Melbourne and isolate with his partner for seven days.

He is expected to be replaced at the SCG by Usman Khawaja, but the Australians have added Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson and the Leeds-born Josh Inglis to their squad ‘as a precautionary measure’.

Australian batsman Travis Head had been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test with Covid-19

Australian batsman Travis Head had been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test with Covid-19

Australian batsman Travis Head had been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test with Covid-19

England head coach Chris Silverwood is already unlikely to be in Sydney after a family member tested positive, while match referee David Boon is also in isolation after his own positive test.

The rest of Australia’s squad underwent another round of PCR and rapid antigen tests on Friday morning. 

And while they have been staying in the same Melbourne hotel as England, the two teams were due to travel separately to Sydney, where the fourth Test begins on January 5. England’s latest round of Covid tests all came back negative.

Mitchell Marsh is one of three potential replacements Australia have added to their side

Mitchell Marsh is one of three potential replacements Australia have added to their side

Mitchell Marsh is one of three potential replacements Australia have added to their side

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