Australian wicketkeeper batter Matthew Wade has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the crunch clash against England on Friday (October 28). Wade is the second Australian star to contract the ungodly virus after Adam Zampa tested positive before the Sri Lanka clash. While Wade is not entirely ruled out of the clash against England, it remains to be seen whether he makes the Playing XI or not on Friday.
Wade is believed to be suffering only minor symptoms and, unless his condition deteriorates, is still expected to feature in Friday's high-stakes match against England at the MCG
An Australian team spokesperson confirmed the 34-year-old, the only wicketkeeper in the 15-man squad after Josh Inglis suffered a hand injury last week and was replaced by Cameron Green, returned a positive test on Wednesday evening.
Who could take wicketkeeping duties?
There was some intrigue at Australia's training session at the Junction Oval indoor nets on Thursday afternoon when Glenn Maxwell put wicketkeeping gloves on and did drills with assistant coach Andre Borovec, a former first-grade gloveman.
Captain Aaron Finch has previously suggested David Warner would likely stand in behind the stumps in Wade's absence, while Finch himself has kept as a fill-in at BBL level.
But the tournament hosts remain confident Wade will be healthy enough to play. A more pressing concern for them is how to ensure the virus does not spread further after Adam Zampa missed Tuesday's win over Sri Lanka due to COVID-19.
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World Cup rules permit players who have tested positive to continue playing. However, Wade will need to travel to the ground separately to the rest of the squad and will not be able to use the team changeroom prior or during the game.
While teams at ICC events are not normally allowed temporary squad replacements for injured players, there is an exception for those who contract COVID-19 during this year's tournament.