Australia may be without its star leg spinner Adam Zampa for a crunch T20 World Cup clash against Sri Lanka in Perth tonight (10pm AEDT).
Zampa has tested positive for Covid-19, leaving him in doubt about the match to be won – although he is showing only minor symptoms, according to Cricket Australia.
It would be a big blow to Australia, who were shocked by New Zealand in the opening match and are now fighting for survival in the tournament.
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The World Cup rules state that Covid-positive players are still allowed to play, as Ireland’s George Dockrell did this weekend.
However, Zampa would have to travel to the game separately and would remain somewhat separated from the playgroup in the evening.
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It wouldn’t be an entirely strange situation for Australia after Tahlia McGrath played with Covid in this year’s Commonwealth Games gold medal match.
CA said in a statement that Zampa is recovering and remains available for selection.
“Zampa’s symptoms are improving and are now reported as less severe,” the statement reads.
“If elected, Zampa will travel to the game separately and will be outside the Australian playgroup, but will be free to play according to ICC guidelines. A decision will be made closer to the toss.”
Should Zampa fail, he could be replaced by spinner Ashton Agar, unless selectors go for a quick lineup and count on Glenn Maxwell to throw four overs of spin.
In that case, the door would be open to Cameron Green or Nathan Ellis.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Zampa’s symptoms are not serious, although concerns remain about playing him.
Australia has to beat Sri Lanka in Perth, and handsome, given the big blow to the net tally in the 89-point loss to New Zealand in Sydney.
The hosts are expected to keep the same XI with the exception of replacing Zampa should he be deemed unfit to play.
MORE TO COME
Australia XI (predicted): David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (World Cup), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa/Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka XI (predicted): Kusal Mendis (World Cup), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Binura Fernando
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